The New York Daily News by Scott Shifrel - June 19, 2010
The politically connected former head of a Bronx nonprofit blubbered like a baby as a federal judge sentenced her to 10 months in prison for embezzling more than $50,000 from the charity. Margarita Villegas, 54, cited a catalogue of good deeds - such as running a local Little League and taking care of her elderly mother - in seeking a no-jail sentence for pleading guilty to looting SBCC Management Corp. of federal bucks intended for low- income, elderly and disabled tenants. "I'm so sorry for those I let down," she said, wiping her eyes with a crumpled tissue as her husband, daughter and other relatives watched. "If it takes me the rest of my life I will pay back every nickel." Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein said he had little choice because Villegas betrayed a public trust. "It's easier to punish bad people than it is to punish good people," he said. "And clearly, Ms. Villegas, you are a good person." Villegas, who's connected to Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo and Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, wailed as the judge and clerk added a $3,000 fine, three years' supervised release and a reimbursement schedule.