Former Judge Receives Punishment for Obstructing Investigation

Former Judge Receives Punishment for Obstructing Investigation

( – Judges have one primary duty: to uphold the law. That makes hearing about the conviction of a former New York State Supreme Court justice for obstructing a criminal investigation even worse. Sylvia Ash will spend 15 months in prison and stay under supervised release for two years. She’s also required to do 20 hours of community service, and pay a fine of $80,000.

While still on the bench, Ash also served on the board of the Municipal Credit Union. In her role as chair, she worked to thwart a federal investigation. She partnered with the credit union’s then-CEO, Kam Wong, whom she tried to shelter from the inquiry.

Ash wiped electronic data, concealed and destroyed documents, and created false paperwork as part of her scheme. She tried to cover up information about her receipt of benefits while with the company and the violation of judicial ethics resulting from her participation on the board. The former judge also lied during investigations into charges of embezzlement against Wong.

Besides Ash and Wong, prosecutors pursued charges against another member of the company’s supervisory committee, Joseph Guagliardo, a former police officer. A court found him guilty of embezzlement. He will serve 27 months in prison.

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