3 former Crystal City officials sentenced to federal prison in bribery, kickback scheme

Rogelio Mata, Roel Mata, Gilbert Urrabazo also placed on supervised release

DEL RIO, Texas – A federal judge in Del Rio on Monday sentenced three former Crystal City officials in connection with a bribery and kickback scheme.

U.S. District Judge Alia Moses sentenced former Mayor Pro Tem Rogelio Mata to 33 months, former City Councilman Roel Mata to 21 months and former City Councilman Gilbert Urrabazo to 24 months,  federal officials said.

Moses ordered the defendants to be placed on supervised release for three years after completing their prison terms.

The defendants must also pay a $2,000 fine, and Moses ordered them jointly and seperately to pay back $11,291.73 for various bribes paid to them and to co-defendant William James Jonas III, officials said.

The trio pleaded guilty to one count of federal programs bribery while admitting to using their official positions to enrich themselves by accepting cash bribes from an individual
seeking to do business with the city.

Earlier this year, Crystal City Mayor Ricardo Lopez and Jonas, the former city attorney and city manager, were sentenced to 97 months and 420 months in federal prison, respectively, for their roles in the scheme. 

Jonas was also ordered to pay $1,047,814.05 in restitution, and Lopez was ordered to pay $24,003.95 in restitution. 

Businessman Ngoc Tri Nguyen was sentenced to 17 months' incarceration and ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution and a $40,000 money judgment for his role in the fraudulent scheme.

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