Five SAHA Employees Charged in Federal Bribery-Related Indictments
John E. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney, FBI Special Agent in Charge Ralph G. Diaz, San Antonio Division, and Housing and Urban Development Inspector General Kenneth Donohue announced the arrest of four San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) employees on federal bribery-related charges.
This morning, federal authorities arrested without incident: Maintenance Supervisor Roman Gabriel Reyes; Senior Maintenance Technician Fidencio Martinez; Project Manager Robert O. Olivares; and, Maintenance Supervisor Alfredo Fausto Lopez. A fifth defendant in this case–Project Manager Vaughn Ernesto Manibog–was arrested earlier this week on an unrelated state charge. Yesterday, a federal grand jury seated in San Antonio returned separate indictments charging Manibog with three counts, Reyes with 23 counts, Martinez with eight counts and Olivares with 21 counts of accepting a thing of value involving federal program funds. Lopez is charged with one count of making a false statement to authorities.
The indictments allege that in exchange for influencing or securing repair contracts on various SAHA properties, Manibog accepted approximately $1,900; Reyes, over $5,800; Martinez, approximately $1,800; and, Olivares, over $6,500. Lopez, allegedly lied to FBI agents during an interview in May 2009 when questioned whether he was ever offered or received anything of value from any contractor doing business with SAHA. The indictment alleges that Lopez failed to reveal that he accepted a motorcycle trailer from a SAHA contractor.
John E. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney said, “This investigation shows that this office continues it’s strong commitment to ensuring the integrity of public institutions.”
Ralph G. Diaz, FBI Special Agent in Charge said, “This investigation illustrates that the identification and investigation of corruption is not dependant upon monetary loss, but rather upon the inherent damage corruption causes to our institutions, and to the integrity of the public’s trust.”
Kenneth Donohue, HUD Inspector General said, “Public corruption in public housing undermines the social stability of what is home to dozens and sometimes hundreds of families.
To the extent that we can stop these destructive practices, the HUD OIG will be a defender of the notion that people in public housing should be able to enjoy a well-administered safe and decent home.”
Upon conviction, each acceptance charge is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison; the false statement charge is punishable by up to five years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorneys Ray and LeRoy Jahn are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
A indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.