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Press Release

Former Mayor of Aguas Buenas Sentenced for Accepting Bribes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The former mayor of the municipality of Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, Javier García-Pérez, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison for his involvement in a bribery scheme in which he received cash payments in exchange for the awarding of municipal contracts and the payment of invoices related to those contracts.

García-Pérez, 47, pleaded guilty in February 2023 to one count of conspiracy to engage in a bribery scheme. According to court documents and statements made in connection with his plea and sentencing, García-Pérez was the mayor and highest-ranking government official in the municipality of Aguas Buenas from 2017 until 2022. Starting in 2017, García-Pérez, was involved in a bribery conspiracy in which he received and accepted cash payments from two businessmen in exchange for awarding municipal contracts for waste disposal services, asphalt and paving services, and debris removal and paying outstanding invoices on the contracts. Specifically, García-Pérez received at least $32,000 in cash payments from August 2020 through September 2021 from the two businessmen. In addition to the term of imprisonment, the defendant was sentenced to two years of supervised release.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow for the District of Puerto Rico, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Special Agent in Charge Joseph González of the FBI San Juan Field Office made the announcement. 

The FBI San Juan Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Nicholas W. Cannon of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Erbe, Chief of the Public Corruption and Financial Fraud Section for the District of Puerto Rico, are prosecuting the case. Trial Attorney Ryan R. Crosswell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott H. Anderson for the District of Puerto Rico assisted in the investigation.  

These cases are part of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to combat public corruption by municipal officials in Puerto Rico. In addition to the above matters, the Public Integrity Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico have recently obtained convictions against other former public officials and contractors in the District of Puerto Rico for soliciting and accepting bribes related to municipal contracts. See United States v. Félix Delgado-Montalvo, 21-463 (RAM); United States v. Oscar Santamaria-Torres, 21-464 (RAM); United States v. Raymond Rodríguez, 21-465 (RAM); United States v. Mario Villegas-Vargas, 21-468 (FAB); See United States v. Ángel Pérez-Otero, 21-474 (ADC); United States v. Radamés Benítez-Cardona, 21-475 (PAD); United States v. Luis Arroyo-Chiques, 21-485 (SCC); United States v. Eduardo Cintron-Suarez, 22-151 (SCC); United States v. Reinaldo Vargas-Rodríguez, 22-186 (PAD); United States v. Ramon Conde-Melendez, 22-221 (PAD); United States v. Pedro Miranda-Marrero, 22-251 (RAM); United States v. Jose Cruz-Cruz, 22-276 (SCC); and United States Jose Bou-Santiago, 22-379 (ADC).

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Updated June 21, 2023

Public Corruption