Judge scolds former NY state senator for cheating public, sentences him to 7 years in prison

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced former New York state Sen. Efrain Gonzalez Jr. to seven years in prison, saying his scheme to steal from charities was an "American tragedy."

Federal Judge William Pauley sentenced Gonzalez on Tuesday.

Gonzalez pleaded guilty last year to charges he used charity groups to finance his lifestyle with $600,000 in stolen money. The 62-year-old Bronx Democrat apologized to his family, his friends and the communities he served before the sentence was announced.

Gonzalez must report to prison June 30.