The State Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn has been charged after prosecutors say she tried to help a now-convicted embezzler get away with stealing millions of dollars. Judge Sylvia Ash, 62, is currently the presiding judge of Kings County Supreme Court Commercial Division and has served as a state judge since 2006.
Ash has been arrested on obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges in connection with a multi-million dollar fraud scheme. Federal prosecutors said Ash tried to help cover up crimes committed by Municipal Credit Union former CEO Kam Wong.
Wong pleaded guilty in the embezzlement scheme. Ash was arrested at La Guardia airport in October 2019.
According to The Department of Justice Ash tried to help obstruct a federal criminal investigation while serving as chair of the Board of Directors for Municipal Credit Union.
Ash is accused of deleting text messages and wiping clean an iPhone in an attempt to destroy evidence, prosecutors said. Ash is also accused of making false and misleading statements to federal law enforcement officers in interviews conducted as part of the federal criminal investigation.
US Attorney Geoffrey Berman says:
“For years, Kam Wong, the then-CEO of New York’s oldest credit union, betrayed the credit union’s hard-working members from the perch of his executive suite by siphoning off millions of dollars in company money for his personal benefit. Wong then tried to cover up what he had done by making false statements to federal investigators and creating false and misleading documents. He will now serve a substantial prison sentence for his crime.”
As a board member for Municipal Credit Union Ash served from 2008 to 2016. Ash received tens of thousands of dollars in travel and other Municipal Credit Union related-reimbursements during the years she served.
Some of which included airfare, hotels, food and entertainment expenses for her and a guest to attend conferences domestically and abroad, as well as payment for phone and cable bills, and electronic devices.
Additionally, former NYPD officer Joseph Guagliardo was arrested in connection with the Municipal Credit Union fraud. Guagliardo is accused of stealing $250,000 from Municipal Credit Union by submitting false security-related billings.
Prosecutors said Guagliardo stole another $200,000 by allegedly setting up a web-advertising business to over bill Municipal Credit Union. Guagliardo is also charged with illegally selling prescription drugs to Wong.