THE BRONX - Former Bronx state Sen. Pedro Espada, Jr. and his son appeared in court today in connection to their fraud case.

The two are charged in a federal fraud indictment, accused of stealing more than $500,000 from their federally funded Soundview health clinic. Investigators say the pair used the money to pay for things such as personal meals, sports tickets and car payments.

Today's appearance in court was for a status conference and to go over scheduling before the case moves to trial. Jury selection begins Oct. 11 and the trial is expected to begin on Oct. 17.

If convicted of the most serious charges, the two could each face more than 55 years in prison. They have both pleaded not guilty.

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