Thu | Oct 22, 2020

Accountant arrested in Puerto Rico public corruption case

Published:Thursday | August 13, 2020 | 12:12 AM
The Puerto Rican flag flies in front of Puerto Rico’s Capitol in San Juan.
The Puerto Rican flag flies in front of Puerto Rico’s Capitol in San Juan.

Federal agents on Wednesday arrested an accountant in a corruption investigation involving Puerto Rico’s former education secretary.

FBI spokeswoman Limary Cruz identified the man as Aníbal Jover, who was once president of Puerto Rico’s Association of Certified Public Accountants. Cruz told The Associated Press that there’s a gag order in the case and that she could not provide further details.

Jover is the seventh person arrested in a case in which authorities say contracts were fraudulently obtained from Puerto Rico’s Department of Education and its Health Insurance Administration.

It was not immediately known if Jover had an attorney.

A federal grand jury last year returned indictments in the case for three contractors, a former government adviser, former Education Secretary Julia Keleher, and the former director of Puerto Rico’s Health Insurance Administration. At least two of the contractors have already pleaded guilty, while Keleher’s attorneys have said she is innocent.

Keleher, who resigned in April 2019, faces charges including bribery and fraud in another federal case. She is accused of giving school property to a private company in exchange for living in an upscale apartment complex for six months on a US$1 lease even though the agreement stipulated a US$1,500 monthly rent.

Keleher then bought the apartment and received a US$12,000 bonus in connection with the purchase when such bonuses rarely exceed US$5,000, officials said. Her attorneys have said she is not guilty.