FBI Arrests Former Top Puerto Rico Officials In Government Corruption Scandal

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U.S. authorities have unsealed a corruption indictment against two former top officials in Puerto Rico for directing some $15.5 million in contracts to favored businesses, allegedly edging out other firms for the lucrative government work despite allegations of being unqualified.

The two former Puerto Rico leaders — Julia Keleher, who was the secretary of the island’s department of education before stepping down in April, and Ángela Ávila-Marrero, who led Puerto Rico’s Health Insurance Administration until last month — were arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday.

Prosecutors wrote in the indictment that the conspiracy involved the two former public officials handing four associates who had an inside track to contracts.

Once secured, authorities say the contractors benefited by paying “unauthorized commissions” to other individuals to lobby government for more contracts, a dynamic authorities described as “a corrupt bidding process.”

Read the original article here: npr.org


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