Eagle Pass Businessman Pleads Guilty to Role in Scheme to Steal Funds from Maverick County
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 29, 2012|
Joe M. Rodriguez, age 37 and owner of Capitol Construction in Eagle Pass, Texas, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty today to a theft charge related to a scheme to steal more than $17,000 in Maverick County funds, announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman. Rodriguez remains on a $20,000 bond pending sentencing. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
Appearing before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. According to the factual basis, between September 18, 2011 and October 11, 2011, Rodriguez, a private contractor who performed work for Maverick County, was issued several checks totaling more than $17,000 by Maverick County for allegedly providing to the county a forklift, as well as a motor for both a water truck and a forklift. Rodriguez deposited the checks into his bank account and then gave thousands of dollars to co-defendant Jaime Flores, per their usual arrangement. Rodriguez never provided Maverick County a forklift or the motor for a water truck and forklift. By pleading guilty, Rodriguez admitted that by accepting the checks, depositing the checks, and then giving a portion of the money from the checks to Flores, he was assisting agents of Maverick County in stealing funds from Maverick County.
Rodriguez’s co-defendants—former Maverick County Purchasing Agent Juan Carlos Moncada, age 32, and Maverick County Precinct One Foreman Jaime Flores, age 33—remain under indictment for wire fraud and theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. Jury selection and trial for Moncada and Flores is scheduled for January 15, 2013. If convicted of wire fraud, a defendant faces up to 20 years in federal prison; theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, up to 10 years in federal prison. It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. Moncada and Flores are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
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.