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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ex-Director And Contractor For The Municipality Of Toa Baja Plead Guilty To Felonies

SAN JUAN, P.R. – On September 26, 2018, Angel Roberto Santos-Garcia pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge Bruce J. McGiverin to the theft of federal funds in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641 and on September 27, 2018, Luis Serrano-Perdigon pleaded guilty before Magistrate Judge Camille Vélez-Rivé to conspiracy and bribery in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 666(a)(2) as well as Social Security fraud in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(4), announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

As a part of the guilty plea, Santos-Garcia admitted that he served as interim Director of Finance for the Municipality of Toa Baja in 2015. While in that position, he transferred approximately $650,000 in funds from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to the general account and payroll account of the Municipality of Toa Baja. These unauthorized transfers were made in order to pay the municipal payroll and to pay municipal contractors, resulting in the illegal theft of federal funds.

The sentencing hearing for Santos-Garcia is scheduled for December 20, 2018, before District Judge Carmen C. Cerezo. Santos-Garcia faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years of imprisonment for the theft of federal funds.

In a separate case, Serrano-Perdigon, a contractor, admitted to conspiring with Edgar Arroyo Amezquita, the Director of Facilities for the Municipality of Toa Baja from May 2011 through May 2013, to defraud the municipality and to bribe Arroyo to receive municipal contracts.

As a part of the conspiracy, Arroyo and Serrano-Perdigon submitted fraudulent quote documentation to the purchasing office of the Municipality of Toa Baja using a fictitious company named Professional Sales & Service. In doing so, Arroyo and Serrano-Perdigon utilized, without consent or legal authority, the name and signature of a real person on the fraudulent quote documentation submitted to the municipality. Checks were then issued by the municipality to Professional Sales & Service which were deposited into a bank account in the name of ALS Electronic Service, a company controlled by Serrano-Perdigon. Serrano-Perdigon also made multiple bribe payments to Arroyo, paid in cash and totaling $39,999, in exchange for causing the contracts to be awarded and payments to be made by the Municipality of Toa Baja for Serrano Perdigon. During this same time, Serrano-Perdigon concealed and failed to disclose to the Social Security Administration that he was able to work in order to fraudulently secure Social Security disability benefit payments.

Arroyo pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to defraud and bribery offenses on August 30, 2018. Sentencing before District Judge Carmen C. Cerezo has been scheduled for December 5, 2018 for Arroyo and for December 20, 2018 for Serrano-Peridgon. Arroyo and Serrano-Perdigon each face a maximum sentence of five (5) years of imprisonment for the conspiracy to defraud and a maximum sentence of ten (10) years imprisonment for the bribery offense. Serrano-Perdigon also faces a maximum sentence of five (5) years of imprisonment for the Social Security fraud.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated September 27, 2018