Arizona Capitol

Richard Miranda's Arizona Latino Caucus Foundation Questioned; Former Lawmaker's Conviction This Week Tied to Different Charity

State Senator Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, says he's "suspicious" that funds may have been misappropriated from another foundation run by corrupt former lawmaker Richard Miranda.

Miranda, a Democrat from Tolleson who resigned abruptly on February 16 after 13 years in the Arizona Legislature, pleaded guilty March 14 to stealing $144,577 from a foundation designed to help Hispanic youths.

Besides the conviction on wire fraud for his thievery, Miranda was also convicted for attempted tax evasion. He's supposed to pay back the money he stole plus about $56,000 in taxes.

He faces up to 25 years in prison when he's sentenced on June 5 before U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver, though he's likely to get about two years behind bars plus fines.

As court documents (see below) show, Miranda illegally sold a building owned by the non-profit foundation Centro Adelante Campesino, Inc., and pocketed the substantial proceeds.

But Miranda ran another foundation that has raised big bucks since 2007: The Arizona Latino Caucus Foundation.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern