Businessman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Defrauding City of El Paso
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 16, 2014|
This morning, 52-year-old Albert G. Torres, the owner of G.O.T. Supply Inc. was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a scheme to defraud the city of El Paso with respect to garbage collection services, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas E. Lindquist.
United States District Judge Kathleen Cardone also ordered that Torres pay a $1,500 fine and $223,840 restitution to the city of El Paso. Furthermore, Judge Cardone ordered that Torres surrender to federal authorities within 90 days to begin serving his prison term.
On May 8, 2013, Torres pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and deprivation of honest services. By pleading guilty, Torres admitted that from January 2006 to October 2008, he paid bribes and kickbacks to former city of El Paso Fleet Maintenance Chief Lorenzo Avalos and others to secure work repairing and servicing El Paso city garbage trucks. During the scheme, Torres also admitted to selling parts to the City at higher-than-agreed-to prices.
“Today’s sentencing of Mr. Torres should serve as a strong message regarding the FBI’s thorough investigation of all those in the El Paso community involved in public corruption. Nothing erodes the public trust more than those who illegally conspire to line their own pockets with taxpayer dollars,” stated FBI SAC Lindquist.
On August 6, 2013, Avalos was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in the scheme. Avalos is also jointly and severally responsible for the restitution ordered by the court.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Chris Skillern prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.