Edward Mullins, the former head of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association and a Port Washington resident, pleaded guilty to defrauding the 13,000-member union of $1 million on Thursday, federal officials announced.
Mullins, who was charged with wire fraud in February 2022, admitted to his involvement in a scheme to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Sergeants Benevolent Association by submitting falsified expense reports.
Around September 2017, officials said, Mullins defrauded the association by using his personal credit card to pay for various luxury items and meals at high-end restaurants before submitting the inflated expense reports for reimbursement.
In one instance, officials said, Mullins submitted an expense report to the association’s treasurer for a $3,000 meal at a Manhattan restaurant, when the meal had no relevance to police work. Mullins also rarely included receipts when seeking reimbursements, according to officials.
Mullins was ultimately reimbursed for more than $1 million, a majority of which was fraudulently obtained, officials said.
“Edward Mullins promised to look out for the thousands of hard-working NYPD Sergeants who are members of the SBA,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said. “Instead, as admitted today in federal court, he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from them to fund his lavish lifestyle.”
Mullins earned more than $220,000 from his job at the NYPD in 2020, according to public data. The Sergeants Benevolent Association manages a $264 million retirement fund and its 13,000 members make it the fifth-largest police union in the nation, according to the group’s website.
Mullins, who served as a member of the NYPD since 1982, assumed his role as president of the police union on July 1, 2002. FBI agents raided the union’s Manhattan office and his Port Washington home in September 2021.
Mullins was also docked more than $31,000 for comments he made about two government officials and for tweeting arrest information about former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter. Mullins was docked 70 vacation days after being found guilty of administrative charges the same day his resignation became official.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board, which tried the case regarding the language Mullins used about the two officials, former Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, wanted him fired.
Mullins said he felt the need to speak out against Barbot last year when she reportedly denied a request from a former Police Department chief to provide officers with protective equipment.
Mullins also said he spoke out against Torres, an openly gay person who was in the midst of a campaign for public office because he had accused officers of engaging in a work slowdown that resulted in an uptick in murders and shootings.
Officials also said Mullins was found guilty of publicizing the information about the arrest of de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, at a demonstration in 2020 over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mullins argued that the information in the report he tweeted was already posted online.
Mullins’ one count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He is required to forfeit $600,000 to the United States and make an additional $600,000 restitution payment to the union.
Mullins’ attorney Thomas Kenniff told reporters that his client “acknowledged he’s wrong, accepted responsibility, and we’re hopeful the judge will treat him fairly at sentencing.”
His sentencing is anticipated to take place on May 25, according to multiple reports.