former mayor of the municipality of Puerto Rico sentenced for accepting bribes | Takeover bid

A former mayor of a municipality in Puerto Rico was sentenced today to two years in prison for his involvement in a corruption scheme in which he received monthly cash payments in exchange for the awarding of municipal contracts.

Luis Arroyo-Chiqués, 56, of Rincon, pleaded guilty in December 2021 to one count of conspiracy to engage in a bribery scheme. According to court documents and statements made as part of his plea and sentencing, Arroyo-Chiqués was the mayor and top government official of the municipality of Aguas Buenas from 2005 to 2016. In 2017, Arroyo-Chiqués negotiated with Individual B for a waste collection contract for Company A, which was owned and operated by Individual A. In exchange for the 10-year waste collection contract, Individual A agreed to pay in Arroyo-Chiqués bribes of $10,000 per month ($1.00 per house for 10,000 houses in the municipality). The deal was arranged so that Arroyo-Chiqués would receive $5,000 per month for the duration of the contract and Individual B would receive $5,000 per month. This payment was made in cash every month starting in 2016 and continued even after Arroyo-Chiqués left in 2016. The last payment to Arroyo-Chiqués was in June 2021.

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, Deputy Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division and the Special Agent in Charge Joseph Gonzalez of the FBI’s San Juan Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI field office in San Juan investigated the case.

General Counsel Nicholas W. Cannon of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth A. Erbe for the District of Puerto Rico are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of the Department of Justice’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 recently obtained convictions against other former officials and contractors in the District of Puerto Rico for soliciting and accepting bribes related to municipal contracts. See United States against Eduardo Cintrón-Suárez22-151 (SCC); United States against Félix Delgado-Montalvo21-463 (RAM); United States vs. Oscar Santamaria-Torres21-464 (RAM); United States vs. Raymond Rodríguez, 21-465 (RAM); and United States vs. Ramon Conde-Melendez22-221 (PAD).

Additionally, the department recently obtained indictments charging several former officials and contractors with bribery related to municipal contracts, and those cases are still pending. See United States vs. Mario Villegas-Vargas21-468 (FAB); United States vs Ángel Pérez-Otero21-474 (ADC); United States vs. Radamés Benítez-Cardona21-475 (PAD); United States vs. Javier García-Pérez, 22-185 (ADC); and United States vs. Reinaldo Vargas-Rodríguez22-186 (PAD).

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