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Latino Daily News

Tuesday March 8, 2011

Puerto Rico Senator and Local Businessman Convicted in Bribery Scheme

Puerto Rico Senator and Local Businessman Convicted in Bribery Scheme

Photo: Juan Bravo Fernandez

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Puerto Rico Senator Hector Martinez Maldonado and Juan Bravo Fernandez, the former president of one of the largest private security companies in Puerto Rico, were convicted by a jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for their roles in a bribery scheme involving legislation beneficial to Bravo Fernandez’ business, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

Martinez Maldonado , 42, of Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Bravo Fernandez, 55, of San Juan, were each convicted late yesterday of federal program bribery.  In addition, Bravo Fernandez was convicted of traveling in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit to travel in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering.  Martinez Maldonado was acquitted of conspiracy, traveling in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering and obstruction of justice. 

Martinez Maldonado was elected to the Puerto Rican Senate in 2004 and began serving a four-year term in January 2005.  He was reelected in 2008.  Bravo Fernandez was the president and chief executive officer of Ranger American, one of the largest private security firms in Puerto Rico. 

The jury convicted the defendants for their role in a bribery scheme in which Bravo Fernandez conspired to secure the passage of two bills favorable to his business interests by bribing Martinez Maldonado and Jorge de Castro Font, a former Puerto Rican senator. 

Specifically, Bravo Fernandez provided numerous cash payments to De Castro Font. De Castro Font pleaded guilty on Jan. 21, 2009, to 20 counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion.  He is currently awaiting sentencing.