Former UTSA projects manager indicted in connection with bribery scheme

4 allegedly conducted scheme to bribe purchasing officer in order to secure construction contracts

Published On: Aug 23 2013 04:32:38 PM CDT
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A federal grand jury in San Antonio returned a bribery indictment against a former project manager in the Facilities Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio in connection with a bribery scheme.

Along with 41–year-old James Paul Council, three other San Antonio area residents were also indicted in connection with the bribery scheme, attorneys announced Friday.

As of Friday, all four surrendered to federal authorities.

The 17-count indictment charges Council, 47-year-old Alfredo Romero Gonzalez, owner of Power Source Electric, 60-year-old Power Source Electric chief estimator and project manager Magin Villalon, and Villalon's wife 56-year-old Sarah Anne Luna with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving Federal funds and four counts of mail fraud.

Council is also charged with six counts of receiving a bribe, and the other three charged with six counts of paying a bribe, authorities said.

According to the indictment, from approximately Aug. 2011 through Sept. 2012, the four allegedly conducted a scheme to bribe a purchasing officer in order to secure UTSA construction contracts.

The indictment further alleges that the four 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.

Upon conviction, officials said the four face up to 5 years imprisonment on the conspiracy count, up to 10 years imprisonment for each bribery related count and up to 20 years in federal prison for each mail fraud count.

All four are on bond pending further court proceedings.