The former head of NYPD's Sergeants Benevolent Association was sentenced Thursday for stealing money from the police union.
Ed Mullins, 61, received two years in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the SBA and its members. He was also slapped with over $1 million in fines and restitution.
Mullins was the chief of the SBA for years before he was caught stealing from the organization in 2021.
Ultimately, Mullins spent $600,000 of the union's money on personal items like high-end meals and luxury goods. Mullins filed hundreds of fraudulent expense reports with the union to cover these personal expenses. He also would inflate the cost of his meals and pocket the difference.
"Mullins publicly vowed to protect the interests of the thousands of active and retired sergeants that he represented. But behind the scenes, Mullins stole from the SBA and its members, treating the SBA as his personal piggy bank,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
"Mullins disgraced his uniform, broke the law and undermined the public’s trust in law enforcement,” Williams added.
Mullins was remorseful during the sentencing, saying he made an "incredibly bad decision."
“I must make this right with the men and women of the NYPD,” Mullins said. “I make no excuses."
His lawyer Thomas Kenniff said Mullins fell into a "rabbit hole" because of money trouble and that he's paying the price for his wrong turn. But prosecutor Alexandra Rothman said Mullins' wrongdoing was willful, holding up a packet of his fraudulent expenses in the courtroom to emphasize the point.
“This was not one mistake, this was not an aberration,” Rothman said. “[Mullins] did it again and again.”
In addition to jail time, Mullins was ordered to pay $600,000 to the SBA and another $600,000 in fines. His lawyer asked for no jail time, saying the financial penalties - which would supposedly consume his life savings - were punishment enough.
The government had asked for 41 months in prison, but the judge showed mercy. Mullins was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.
“I’m very pleased that the court listened to our arguments and gave a sentence substantially below the extreme boundary that [the government] was asking for,” Kenniff said.