Two More Admit Guilt in El Paso Corruption Investigation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 03, 2010|
United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that in El Paso this morning, 53-year-old Patrick Woods, former member of the Board of Directors for the National Center for the Employment of the Disabled (NCED), pleaded guilty to embezzlement in connection with the El Paso corruption investigation.
Appearing before United States District Judge Frank Montalvo, Woods pleaded guilty to count 10 of the superseding indictment (Cause # EP-08-CR-1698) charging him with conspiracy to embezzle or steal federal program funds. By pleading guilty, Woods admitted to conspiring with former NCED CEO and President Bob Jones, and others between September 2005 and February 2006 to knowingly misapply without authority money generated through government contracts belonging to NCED. Specifically, Woods, Jones, and others caused NCED to purchase two pieces of property in El Paso in which Woods and Jones had a direct personal interest.
Also today, Judge Montalvo unsealed a one-count Information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office (Cause # EP-10-CR-2057) against 51-year-old Victor Mendez charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Mendez pleaded guilty to the Information on August 26, 2010, before Judge Montalvo. By pleading guilty, Mendez admittedly conspired with others to offer two bribes—one for $7,000 and the other for $13,000—in August 2005 to Salvador "Sal" Mena, Jr., who at the time served as a trustee with the El Paso Independent School District, in exchange for securing sub-contracts to perform work at two EPISD schools.
To date, 14 individuals have pleaded guilty to criminal conduct stemming from this investigation conducted by the El Paso Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are: John Travis Ketner; Elizabeth "Betti" Flores; Bernard Lucero, Jr.; Carlos Villa Cordova; Roberto Gerardo Ruiz; Christopher Chol-Su Pak; Raymond Telles; Antonio Dill; Fernando Parra; Gary Lange; Salvador Marcos "Sal" Mena, Jr.; Robert Edward "Bob" Jones; Victor Mendez; and Patrick Woods.