Former New York City police union president Ed Mullins was charged with fraud on Wednesday, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union and spending it on a "lavish lifestyle."
The charge against Mullins comes following a raid last year on his home and union office. He resigned in October as head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) and retired from the NYPD in November following the raids.
The FBI confirmed that Mullins was in custody as of midmorning Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York later announced that Mullins was charged with a count wire fraud. He's accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of the union's money through fraudulent expense reports.
"As alleged, Edward Mullins, the former President of the SBA, abused his position of trust and authority to fund a lavish lifestyle that was paid for by the monthly dues of the thousands of hard-working Sergeants of the NYPD," said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.
The prosecutor's office said Wednesday that Mullins was reimbursed more than a million dollars over the years through his expense reports, much of which was "fraudulently obtained."
Mullins allegedly began using his personal credit cards for luxury personal expenses and attempting to have the union reimburse him in 2017, filing expense reports without receipts.
In some cases, Mullins would inflate the cost of meals and attempt to have them reimbursed for legitimate union business when they were not, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. According to one example provided, Mullins allegedly falsified his own credit card statement to get an additional $300 on a meal, crossing off $522.55 and writing in $822.55.
The union did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
At the time of the raid, the union’s executive board said in a letter to SBA members that “the nature and scope of this criminal investigation has yet to be determined.”
“However, it is clear that President Mullins is apparently the target of the federal investigation. We have no reason to believe that any other member of the SBA is involved or targeted in this matter,” the board said in the message.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association represents about 13,000 active and retired NYPD sergeants and controls a $264 million retirement fund.
Mullins is a controversial figure in New York City, notorious for his clashes with police and city leaders and sparking outrage with his incendiary tweets.
His tweets have included calling a City Council member a “first class whore” and calling a former health commissioner a “b----.”
In another tweet speaking on the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, a Black teenager, and the protests that followed, Mullins wrote: “Ferguson, Missouri was a lie and a nation of police have been under attack ever since.”
Last year’s raids came after an NYPD internal trial against Mullins for a slew of administrative charges, including for tweeting the arrest record for then Mayor Bill De Blasio’s daughter. He was found guilty and docked 70 vacation days in that case.
Mullins was elected to president of the SBA in 2002. Under his leadership, the union successfully negotiated contracts with the city that resulted in 40 percent wage increases. He joined the NYPD in 1982, according to his official biography.
He was also an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump and has made brash comments on several conservative news outlets.
Despite running the union full-time, he was allowed to retain his sergeant position and salaries from the union and police department under city law. In total in 2020, he raked in more than $220,000 between the two, per public records.