Thursday, May 29, 2014

Puerto Rico: FBI Arrests Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge in Bribery Scheme

According to The Associated Press, FBI agents on Thursday (May 29) arrested a Puerto Rico Superior Court judge suspected of accepting bribes in exchange for acquitting a man charged in a fatal drunk-driving case.

Judge Manuel Acevedo Hernández, 62, was detained at his home in the northwest coastal town of Aguadilla. He had previously been suspended when the federal investigation began.

Also charged in the case is CPA Lutgardo Acevedo López, 39, who was acquitted in 2013 on charges including vehicular homicide. 

He had been arrested on suspicion of hitting another car in June 2012 and killing a security guard.

COMMENT: Acevedo López is now charged with using intermediaries to pay $3,200 worth of taxes owed by the judge, as well as to pay for the renovation of his garage and the purchase of a $1,200 motorcycle, clothing and other items.

The indictment also stated that the judge agreed to acquit Acevedo López in exchange for help in being promoted to appellate judge and to find employment for two of relatives.

"In my 35 years of experience in the law, I've never seen anything like this," said US Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez. 

She said federal authorities are in touch with Acevedo López's attorney, noting that the businessman is in the US and has not yet been arrested.