Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Sylvia Ash received a year and three months prison sentence on Wednesday for obstructing a probe into financial wrongdoing at a credit union that provides banking services to over a half million members, according to the Associated Press.
Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced Ash, who was convicted in December on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making a false statement to a federal agent in an investigation of the Municipal Credit Union.
“These crimes struck at the heart of the criminal justice system,” Kaplan said of a judge who stepped down from her judicial position only last month.
The judge said Ash, born in London, impressively rose from modest origins to “one of the most important judicial positions in the state.”
“But you lost it all,” he said, citing her “dishonest, corrupt and frankly outrageous actions.”
During the trial, prosecutors stated Ash took actions over many months to obstruct the investigation into financial misconduct at the credit union while she chaired its board of directors. They also claimed Ash received tens of thousands of dollars in reimbursements and other benefits from the credit union from 2012 through 2016, including airfare, hotels, entertainment, and annual birthday parties at a minor league baseball stadium.
As an acting state judge, Ash was required to report gifts and benefits from any outside sources on an annual state disclosure form, but prosecutors said she never reported gifts or benefits from the credit union between 2012 and 2018.
Authorities said the financial crimes occurred while Ash, a Brooklyn judge, was on the credit union’s board of directors from May 2008 to August 2016, when she resigned.
Ash spoke to the press before the sentencing occurred.
Before the sentence was announced, Ash said she felt “remorse, shame and embarrassment” after she “disappointed so many.” She said she had “achieved the American dream” before the crimes “ruined my life.”
“Because of my actions, the reputation I spent a lifetime building has been destroyed and I have no one to blame but myself,” Ash said.