Police union president accused of bilking members out of $1 million in personal expenses

Former Sergeant’s Benevolent Association president Ed Mullins surrendered to federal authorities on Wednesday morning, amid allegations that he defrauded the police union’s membership out of nearly $1 million over four years.

Mullins, who led the 13,000-member union for two decades until his resignation in October, pleaded not guilty in federal court to one count of wire fraud. He was released on $250,000 bail.

Between 2017 and 2021, prosecutors allege that Mullins raked in hundreds of fraudulent reimbursements from the union’s dues fund for non-work related expenses, including high-end meals, jewelry, home appliances and a relative’s college fund.

As part of the alleged scheme, Mullins regularly inflated the cost of his meals by an order of magnitude, seeking as much as $800 in reimbursement for a $45 check at a wine bar, according to the complaint.

In other cases, he would allegedly expense costs that had no relation to SBA business, such as his supermarket bill or $300 gift cards that he purchased for family members to use at Manhattan restaurants.

In 2019, at the height of the alleged scheme, Mullins received $344,909 in funds from the union, all of which was pulled from the SBA’s Contingent Fund, which is almost entirely funded by members’ dues.

Mullins, an incendiary union leader who frequently accused New York’s political leaders of being soft on crime, resigned in October, following a raid on his home in Port Washington, Long Island and the SBA’s Manhattan officers.

Prior to his departure, Mullins faced a pair of department trials for disclosing personal information about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter, and for referring to two city officials as a “bitch” and “first class whore” on Twitter.

He was docked a total of $32,000 for the offensive tweets, but avoided termination, allowing him to leave with the bulk of his benefits.

When investigators searched his home office last year, according to the complaint, they discovered two sets of credit card statements, marked “Clean Copy” and “Work Copy.”

The latter had handwritten annotations from Mullins in which the true costs of his purchases were crossed out and replaced with the higher amount that he would later send to the treasurer for reimbursement.

Prosecutors noted that the SBA treasurer tasked with approving the expenses in 2017 “did not regularly require receipts for Mullins’s reimbursements in particular.”

In the union’s 2018 election, Mullins placed the treasurer on his slate for reelection, with both of them winning another four-year term.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Southern District of New York declined to say if the treasurer was suspected of a crime.

Mullins offered no comment as he left the federal court house on Wednesday afternoon. As part of his release, he was required to surrender his firearms and passport. He is scheduled to return to court on March 17th.

Inquiries to the SBA were not returned.

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