Ten high-ranking members of the government of Puerto Rico were recently arrested by the FBI.
The 25-count indictment included bribery, extortion, wire fraud, embezzlement, perjury, and money laundering of US federal funds.
Specifically, the defendants placed family members and friends in key government agency jobs. These “key hires” then doled out government contracts and federal funds, as directed by the defendants.
The key hires also withheld payments to legitimate but “unconnected” contractors, then charged them a “fee” for the release of these payments. In some cases, the fee was 50%.
In this manner, millions of dollars of government funds were systematically embezzled …and in some instances, the embezzlement continued for nearly 20 years.
The individuals arrested were:
Now in August 2016, the plot has thickened.
The ten defendants are talking…more like singing, loudly and passionately, in order to lighten their own sentences.
The stories range from poisonous oil at PREPA, to drug deals in the Police Department, to fake $400,000 telephone systems.
THE GOVERNMENT PHONES DON’T WORK!
One bit of corruption was so ridiculously inept, that even the government couldn’t cover it up.
As reported by the Puerto Rico press, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Jaime Perelló received $45,000 in cash as a “campaign contribution” arranged by one of the above defendants.
In exchange for this $45,000 “contribution,” the donor received a contract to upgrade the telephone system of the entire Puerto Rico House of Representatives.
Unfortunately, the donor had no experience in this work. So when the job was completed…
The phones did not work!
THE FALL OF THE SPEAKER
This outrageous pay-to-play scheme occurs all over the island of Puerto Rico…but the telephone scam occurred in the Capital building, right under the nose of the island’s press.
This one they couldn’t hide.
Tomorrow we will detail Part II of this story: the Speaker Brought Down by a Bad Telephone.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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