Former Crystal City councilman pleads guilty in bribery scheme

Gilbert Urrabazo faces up to 10 years in federal prison

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group

Former Crystal City Councilman Gilbert Urrabazo

CRYSTAL CITY, Texas - Former Crystal City councilman Gilbert Urrabazo pleaded guilty Thursday to his connection with a bribery and kickback scheme involving city contracts.

In pleading guilty, Urrabazo, 45, admitted to using his official position in April 2015 to benefit himself by accepting a cash bribe from a person seeking to do business in Crystal City.

Urrabazo is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in the ongoing joint investigation. Former Mayor Rogelio Mata, former city councilman Roel Mata and businessman Ngoc Tri Nguyen also admitted their roles in the kickback scheme.

Urrabazo faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, a $2,000 monetary judgment and a forfeiture of about $1,000 in monies seized by authorities. His sentence hearing has not yet been scheduled.

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