As it turns out, Mullins — a vocal opponent of police reform — was a staunch “defund the police” advocate at heart after all.
In a press release from the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York said Mullins, who led the Sergeants Benevolent Association, “abused his position of trust and authority to fund a lavish lifestyle that was paid for by the monthly dues of the thousands of hard-working Sergeants of the NYPD.” He has been charged with one count of wire fraud.
On Wednesday morning, Mullins surrendered to the FBI and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on $250,000 bond, reported The New York Times.
Mullins led the union for nearly two decades until he resigned in October after federal investigators raided his home as part of their corruption investigation.
According to the Justice Department, from roughly 2017 to around October 2021, Mullins used union funds to reimburse himself more than $1 million, the majority of which was fraudulently obtained. He allegedly filed phony expense reports to pay for charges he made on his personal credit card that included expensive dinners, home appliances, jewelry and a relative's college tuition.
The Justice Department alleged that last April, Mullins changed a $45.92 charge to an $845.92 charge at a wine bar in New Jersey; that he changed a $609.89 charge to a $909.89 charge at a steakhouse; and that he changed a $185.88 charge at a Long Island supermarket to make it look like a $685.88 charge at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan.
In other words, he was fraudulently siphoning union dues into his own pocket. Allegedly.
News that he was bilking members of his own police union is quite ironic, considering Mullins presented himself as a relentless and vitriolic defender of New York cops. He previously ran the SBA’s Twitter account and often used it to badmouth New York officials and other personal enemies.
He was docked 70 vacation days last year for misusing the Twitter account to leak the arrest of former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter, who was detained at a Black Lives Matter protest. The punishment was also in response to Mullins posting offensive tweets about former New York Commissioner of Health Dr. Oxiris Barbot and U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres.
In his tweets, Mullins — from the SBA account — said Torres “passes laws to defund the police.” (Torres hasn’t.)
But it appears Mullins has been defunding police officers for years. Apparently, he doesn’t have an issue with defunding it as long as the money is spent on a porterhouse slathered in steak sauce.