A mayor pleaded guilty Wednesday in Puerto Rico to being involved in a bribery scheme where cash payments were received in exchange for awarding municipal contracts to a particular company, officials stated.

Relatedly, a Puerto Rico contractor was arrested today for allegedly paying bribes and kickbacks to the mayor, according to authorities.

Felix Delgado-Montalvo, 40, was the mayor of and highest-ranking government official in the municipality of Cataño.

Delgado-Montalvo resigned his position as mayor on Tuesday.

According to court documents, Delgado-Montalvo unjustly enriched himself by accepting bribes, including cash payments from a particular person, whose business, Company A, would then benefit by being rewarded municipal contracts, including a contract worth nearly $50,000.

As part of his plea agreement, Delgado-Montalvo agreed to forfeit $105,820 as proceeds of his illegal conduct.

Relatedly, Mario Villegas-Vargas, 42, of Gurabo, who owned an asphalt and paving company in Puerto Rico, was indicted for allegedly paying kickbacks and bribes to Delgado-Montalvo in exchange for valuable municipal contracts.

According to the indictment, beginning in or around June 2017, Villegas-Vargas paid kickbacks and bribes in exchange for Delgado-Montalvo exerting his influence on municipal officials in Cataño, resulting in Villegas-Vargas’s business receiving over $9.9 million in municipal contracts.

Delgado-Montalvo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to solicit and accept bribes.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8 and faces up to five years in prison, according to officials.

Villegas-Vargas is charged with conspiracy to pay bribes, bribery, and use of an interstate facility in aid of racketeering.

If convicted of all counts, Villegas-Vargas faces up to 20 years in prison.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s San Juan Field Office.

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.