Federal authorities announced on Tuesday that two former employees of the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), as well as the former president of the main Puerto Rico relief agency, were arrested and charged with bribery charges. during devastation efforts after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017.
Former President of Cobra Acquisitions LLC, Donald Allison, whose company, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), has signed a contract to support electric restoration ichestvoto the island by allegedly changed services and bribes Deputy Regional Director of FEMA Ahsha Tribble in an attempt to enhance the mutual benefits of reconstruction efforts, according to the US Attorney in Puerto Rico.
PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR RESTORS THE HURRICAN MARIA DEATH ROLL 64 TO 2975
US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez alleges in an indictment that Allison provided private use of the hotel, personal use of the hotel, credit card. In return, Tribble uses its powers to pressure PREPA and FEMA employees to secure additional contracts for COBRA reimbursement efforts and expedite payments to Ellison's company.
Cobra received two contracts worth about $ 1
Prosecutors also say that Ellison used her intent to hire Tribble's friend, Yovanda Patterson, in one from related Cobra companies. Paterson became FEMA's deputy chief in Puerto Rico before resigning in July 2018 to work for Cobra Energy LLC, according to the prosecution. The acquisition of Cobra and Cobra Energy are subsidiaries of Oklahoma-based City Mammoth Energy Services Inc. Patterson is the third person charged in the prosecution.
Prosecutors allege that Patterson faked the Cobra by telling her that her salary with FEMA was much higher than she was, which allowed
"These defendants had to come to Puerto Rico to help during the recovery from the devastation suffered by Hurricane Maria, "Rodriguez said in a statement. "Instead, they decided to take advantage of the unsafe conditions of our electricity grid and participate in a fraud scheme and fair fraud services in order to enrich themselves illegally. "
All three defendants went to Puerto Rico in October 2017, just one month after a Category 5 deadly hurricane killed nearly 3,000 people and caused the world's second-longest eclipse.
" Accused crimes are reprimanding, all the more so in light of the fiscal crisis of PREPA and Puerto Rico, "says Rodriguez.
FEMA said on Tuesday that it" could not comment on personnel matters, but the Agency cooperates fully with federal investigators. "[1 9659012] "FEMA's mission is to help the American people before, during and after disasters, and our mission can only be accomplished by maintaining the public trust and confidence of those we serve," the organization said. "As such, the Agency takes allegations of employee misconduct too seriously and holds all employees to the highest ethical standards – requiring them to protect government resources and provide public service over private profit in everything they do."
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The three are facing 15 criminal cases, including conspiracy by government officials to commit bribery, acts affecting personal financial interest, making false statements, fraudulent misconduct. dstviya, personal fraud and violations of the Law on the trip. If convicted, anyone could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison for conspiracy, violations of travel acts, conflicts of interest and false statements, and up to 30 years for honest fraud and disaster fraud services.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.