Corruption Case Hits Former Education Secretary, 5 Others In Puerto Rico
PUERTO RICO: The FBI arrested six government officials and prominent business leaders yesterday on 32 counts of money laundering and fraud, as part of an ongoing probe involving the malfeasance of $15.5 million in federal funds. Prosecutors say that former Education Secretary (DE) Julia Keleher spent $13 million in securing illicit contracts to the Ponce-Mendoza sisters, Glenda and Mayra, whom she employed as assistants and consultants at the DE.
Ángela Ávila-Marrero, the former director of the island's Health Insurance Administration (ASES), is accused of spending $2.5 million of the funds in handing out illegal contracts. Businessmen Alberto Velázquez-Piñol and Fernando Scherrer-Caillet allegedly took advantage of ASES to win federal contracts. The FBI believes they used federal money to pay for lobbying. Scherrer-Caillet resigned yesterday from BDO Puerto Rico. Although Gov.
Ricardo Rosselló is not part of the probe, many believe the corruption scandal signifies the "death" of his political career given his close relation to those implicated.