**Former President of Sergeants Benevolent Association Sentenced to Two Years in Prison**
The former president of one of the nation’s largest police unions, the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing $600,000 from a fund made up of contributions from union members. Ed Mullins, 61, pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge in January, admitting to the theft that took place from 2017 through 2021.
**Balancing the Crime and Charitable Deeds**
In Manhattan federal court, Judge John G. Koeltl sentenced Mullins after considering the four decades of police work and charitable deeds that he had carried out. While recognizing Mullins’ contributions, Judge Koeltl emphasized the seriousness of the crime. Alongside the prison sentence, Mullins was also ordered to forfeit $600,000 and pay the same amount in restitution.
**Mullins’ Admission and Regret**
Mullins, a resident of Port Washington, expressed remorse during his sentencing. He acknowledged that he had “lost” himself in committing the crime and stated that he had no excuses for his actions. Mullins said, “My regret cannot be put into words. I made an incredibly bad decision.”
**Prosecutors’ Requested Sentence**
Under the terms of his plea deal, Mullins faced a sentence of up to 3 1/2 years in prison, which was the length requested by prosecutors. However, Judge Koeltl ultimately sentenced him to two years, taking into account his years of service and charitable work.
**Sergeants Benevolent Association and Mullins’ Role**
The SBA, the fifth-largest police union in the nation, represents approximately 13,000 active and retired sergeants. Mullins served as the union’s president until October 2021. It was during this time that the FBI searched the SBA’s Manhattan office and Mullins’ Long Island home, leading to his resignation. Several weeks later, he retired from the New York Police Department.
**Mullins’ Double Life**
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Rothman described Mullins as having an outward persona of being the union’s fearless leader, but behind closed doors, he was a thief and a liar. Prosecutors revealed that Mullins used the stolen money for personal expenses, such as meals at high-end restaurants and luxury items like jewelry. Additionally, he charged personal supermarket bills to the union and claimed costly meals with friends as business expenses.
**Defense Lawyer’s Statement**
Mullins’ defense lawyer, Thomas Kenniff, argued that his client did not live a lavish lifestyle on his $250,000 salary. Kenniff stated that Mullins now faced immense shame and humbleness before the court. Mullins chose not to comment as he left the courthouse.
**No One Is Above the Law**
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams emphasized the significance of Mullins’ sentence, asserting that it demonstrates that no one, not even high-ranking union bosses, is above the law. The case has highlighted the importance of accountability and integrity, particularly within organizations entrusted with safeguarding the interests of their members.
In conclusion, the sentencing of Ed Mullins to two years in prison for embezzling $600,000 from the Sergeants Benevolent Association highlights the consequences of betraying the trust of union members. While acknowledging Mullins’ decades of service and charitable deeds, the court recognized the seriousness of his crime. The case serves as a reminder that no individual, regardless of their position or reputation, is exempt from the consequences of their actions.