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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 18, 2011

Former Senator Majority Leader of Puerto Rico Sentenced to 5 Yrs in Prison for Extortion

Former Senator Majority Leader of Puerto Rico Sentenced to 5 Yrs in Prison for Extortion

Photo: Puerto Rico's Jorge de Castro Font Sentenced

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Jorge De Castro Font, 47, a former senate majority leader in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison after pleading guilty to 20 counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.  De Castro Font also was sentenced in Puerto Rico by U.S. District Judge Francisco A. Besosa to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.

De Castro Font pleaded guilty on Jan. 21, 2009, to engaging in a scheme to deprive the people of Puerto Rico of his honest services as a legislator.  De Castro Font also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion through fear of economic harm and under color of official right.  De Castro Font was charged with these and other related offenses on Oct. 2, 2008.

In his guilty plea, de Castro Font admitted that from Jan. 2, 2005, through August 2008, he directly and indirectly solicited between approximately $500,000 and $525,000 in cash payments and other benefits, such as campaign contributions in excess of the legal limits, lodging, private flights, meals and other things of value, from individuals.  De Castro Font admitted that he engaged in official acts on behalf of some of these individuals who had provided him with these undisclosed benefits, including proposing legislation, preventing legislative projects to be voted or acted upon, and persuading other legislators to vote for or against legislation.

De Castro Font also admitted to participating in a conspiracy to obtain cash and other benefits from five individuals he acknowledged that he knew felt if they did not provide him with the financial benefits requested, de Castro Font could use his official position to harm their financial interests.