THE BRONX - A former employee took the stand Wednesday in the corruption trial of former state Sen. Pedro Espada.

Maria Cruz testified that the Soundview health clinics were always in financial trouble. She also claimed to have witnessed Espada conducting schemes to steal money from the nonprofit network.

Espada and his son are accused of fraud and embezzlement after prosecutors say they stole $500,000 to fund lavish lifestyles.

Opening statements made in Espada's corruption trialEspadas arraigned on more corruption charges