A Weslaco, Texas man has been arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and other offenses in connection with a scheme to bribe a city commissioner in exchange for government contracts.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas, Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI San Antonio Field Office and Acting Special Agent in Charge Sarah Kull of the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Houston Field office, made the announcement.
An 18-count indictment filed in the Southern District of Texas and unsealed upon his arrest yesterday charges Richard Quintanilla, 51, with conspiring to bribe and bribing a Weslaco City Commissioner in exchange for official actions favorable to three engineering companies. According to the indictment, from approximately August 2011 through December 2016, the companies supplied Quintanilla with approximately $85,950, which was funneled through a co-conspirator. Quintanilla allegedly kept a portion of these payments and paid the remainder to a city commissioner. In exchange for these bribe payments, the indictment alleges that the city commissioner used his official position to benefit the companies, including by voting to authorize multi-million dollar contracts for water treatment facilities in the City of Weslaco. Quintanilla will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter E. Ormsby at 11:00 a.m. CT today.
An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The FBI and IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Trial Attorneys Peter M. Nothstein and Jessica C. Harvey of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.
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