Six people, including Puerto Rico’s former education secretary, were arrested in a sweeping corruption probe in which it’s alleged that they steered federal funds to unqualified, politically connected contractors, federal officials said Wednesday.
The FBI arrested former education secretary Julia Keleher, former Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration head Ángela Ávila-Marrero; businessmen Fernando Scherrer-Caillet and Alberto Velázquez-Piñol, and education contractors Glenda E. Ponce-Mendoza and Mayra Ponce-Mendoza, who are sisters, on fraud and related charges.
Officials said Velázques Piñol illegally used federal money to pay for lobbying, and improperly used contacts in the education and health insurance agencies to win contracts. Ponce-Mendoza worked as Keleher’s assistant; both her and her sister were friends with the former secretary.
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