La Joya Housing Authority Indicted in Bid Rigging Scheme
McALLEN, Texas ‐ The executive director of the La Joya Housing Authority has been indicted along with another individual for wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Juan Jose Garza, 48, and Armando Jimenez, 52, were arrested Friday. This morning, the two men made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos.
Garza is the executive director of the La Joya Housing Authority. The indictment alleges that from July 2012 through March 2013, Garza and Jimenez engaged in bid rigging for construction contracts with the Alamo and Donna Housing Authorities. Garza and Jimenez allegedly submitted false bids so that Jimenez Construction would be awarded construction projects. Jimenez then falsely submitted invoices for work he claimed his construction company did, but that had been completed by subcontractors working for Garza, according to the charges.
If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General and the FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Rees is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.