Federal Grand Jury Indicts Maverick County Probation Officer/General Contractor in Bribery, Kickback, and Bid-Rigging Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 12, 2012|
In Eagle Pass, Texas, Maverick County Probation Officer and general contractor Javier Gonzalez was arrested after a federal grand jury in Del Rio indicted him earlier today in connection with an alleged bribery, kickback, and bid-rigging scheme, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.
The federal grand jury indictment charges the 42-year-old Eagle Pass resident with one count each of paying a bribe to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds and wire fraud. According to the indictment, in May 2011, Gonzalez submitted a $35,100 bid to Maverick County to build a sidewalk on Lago Vista Street in Precinct 4. Subsequently, Maverick County issued two separate checks totaling $35,100 to Gonzalez—the first on May 24, 2011, for $13,050 to commence work on the project; the second on May 26, 2011, for $22,050 for the completion of the sidewalk. The indictment alleges that Gonzalez made a cash payment to an employee working in the Maverick County Auditor’s Office each time he received a check. The indictment further alleges that both checks were issued to Gonzalez without undergoing the appropriate internal review process by Maverick County. Additionally, Gonzalez is alleged to have never constructed the sidewalk he was paid to build on Lago Vista Street.
Upon conviction, Gonzalez faces up to 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud and up to 10 years in federal prison for bribery. Gonzalez is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Collis White tomorrow morning in Del Rio for his initial appearance.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Individuals who have first-hand information about corruption, fraud, or bribery related to Maverick County are urged to contact the FBI at (210) 225-6741. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
In 2011, Maverick County received hundreds of thousands of federal dollars as part of Operation Stonegarden, a federal grant program that provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities to jointly secure U.S. borders and territories.