In a separate indictment, two ex-employees of the municipality of Toa Baja indicted and arrested
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico– Miguel G. Ortiz-Vélez, a.k.a. “Papín”, mayor of the municipality of Sabana Grande has been indicted and arrested for his participation in a conspiracy to steal federal funds involving fraudulently obtained contracts from the PR Department of Education (PR DOE), announced U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto Rico. In a separate unrelated indictment, Victor Cruz-Quintero, former Director of Finance, and Ángel Santos-García, former interim Director of Finance of the Municipality of Toa Baja were charged with theft, conversion, and misappropriation of funds from the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services. The United States Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are handling the Sabana Grande investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, are handling the Toa Baja investigation, with the collaboration of the PR Comptroller’s Office.
“Mayor Miguel G. Ortiz-Vélez deceived the public’s trust and used his public office to fraudulently obtain federal funds in order to supplement the finances of the municipality of Sabana Grande,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “Corruption and fraud at any level of government betrays the ideals upon which our democracy is built. In regards with the investigation in Toa Baja, we will continue to follow the evidence in order to determine if other municipal officials were involved in the fraudulent scheme announced today.”
“The public must be able to trust the officials who are put in charge of government funds. Anyone who violates that trust will be brought to justice, because the citizens of Puerto Rico deserve no less. The FBI is proud to share this commitment with its partners from the United States Attorney’s Office, the Inspectors General for the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and the Office of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico,” stated Douglas Leff, Special Agent in Charge of FBI, San Juan.