Jury Convicts Two in Eagle Pass Public Corruption Trial
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 20, 2009|
SAN ANTONIO, TX—United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that 65-year-old Lesvia Barrera, former Executive Director of the Eagle Pass Housing Authority, and her nephew, 38-year-old Juan Antonio Sifuentes, each face up to ten years in federal prison after a federal jury in Del Rio late yesterday afternoon convicted them of conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to false claims.
Testimony during trial revealed that from October 2001, to August 2003, Barrera engaged in a scheme to hide the fact that she awarded her nephew three contracts worth approximately $20,000 for construction work to be done at the Eagle Pass Housing Authority. In carrying out her scheme, Barrera supplied to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development fraudulent reimbursement invoices and documentation which contained forged signatures and names of local companies which did not perform the identified construction projects.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 15, 2010, before United States District Judge Alia Ludlum.
This case was investigated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General together with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorneys Katy Risinger and Celeste Blackburn are prosecuting the matter for the government.