Friday, February 12, 2016

Former UTSA Project Manager Sentenced to Prison for Bribery

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 9:31 AM

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Bribery doesn't pay.

Yesterday, a federal judge slapped former University of Texas at San Antonio project manager James Paul Council with a 38-month sentence in prison for a bribery scheme.

Council pleaded guilty to taking $1,000 from people trying to secure UTSA construction contracts worth more than $200,000.

Here's what the FBI said in August, 2013:

According to the indictment, from approximately August 2011 through September 2012, the defendants allegedly conducted a scheme to bribe a purchasing officer in order to secure UTSA construction contracts. The indictment further alleges that the defendants colluded in the submission of fraudulent, inflated bids to UTSA under the names of sham companies, GNZ Enterprise LLC and Vista Contracting, and fixed at least 40 UTSA contracts. Authorities estimate the submitted bids totaled more than $200,000. Furthermore, the indictment alleges that Council received cash, as well as improvements to his residence for his role in the scheme.

Council wasn't alone in his pay-to-play scheme. Alfredo Romero Gonzalez, 50, owner of Power Source Electric; Magin Villalon, a project manager and chief estimator with the electrical construction and repair business; and Sarah Anne Luna, Villalon's wife, have all pleaded guilty to bribing Council. Gonzalez will spend 22 months in prison, Villalon has 37 months to think about his crimes and Luna received two years of probation.

Villalon and Gonzalez were ordered to pay UTSA $71,000 in restitution to UTSA and Luna owes nearly $10,000.

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