SAN JUAN, P.R. – Today, Carlos Bolet Álvarez, a former contractor with the Municipality of Barceloneta pled guilty to a one count Information charging misprision of a felony before the Magistrate Judge Silvia Carreño-Coll, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. As a result of the failure to report an extortion of payment to the Mayor of Barceloneta the defendant could face up to 3 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The sentencing was scheduled for October 25, 2013 at 9:30 am.
From May 2011 through June 2011, Bolet had contracts in place for the rental of heavy equipment with the Municipality of Barceloneta and therefore was under an obligation to report any bribes, kickbacks or illegal payments that were made. From on or about May 16, 2011 and continuing through June 10, 2011, Bolet, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, specifically, an extortion payment of $40,000 solicited at the urging of the Mayor of the Municipality from Bolet, by actual or threatened use of fear and under the color of official right in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1951, knowing he was under an obligation to report the same, accepted further payments from the Municipality of Barceloneta pursuant to said contract involving federal funds and did not report the payment to some judge or other law enforcement authority.
“We will continue to prosecute public officials and contractors whose conduct undermines the public's trust in federal, state and municipal government,” said US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “Moreover, this case serves as an important reminder that even the failure to report a bribe may subject officials and contractors to criminal prosecution.”
This case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel, Charles R. Walsh and was investigated by the FBI.