New York County Supreme Court and U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York. New York County Supreme Court and U.S. District Court – Southern District of New York. (Source: Bumble Dee/Shutterstock)

A New York jury heard opening statements Tuesday that began the trial of Sylvia Ash, former board chair of the $4.2 billion Municipal Credit Union, who was indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly attempting to impede a federal investigation that exposed widespread criminal fraud and corruption at New York’s oldest financial cooperative.

“This is a case about a cover-up. It is about how the defendant, Sylvia Ash, deleted and hid evidence from a federal grand jury that was investigating a multimillion-dollar fraud,” Federal Prosecutor for the Southern District of New York Alona S. Katz said in her opening statement to the jury. “It’s about how she lied to a federal agent. It’s about how she knowingly signed a false document, designed to mislead federal investigators. And it’s about how she tried to cover up the fraud and protect herself. We are here because the defendant obstructed justice.”

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Peter Strozniak

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