Feds indict two former Puerto Rico officials in corruption probe

Feds indict two former Puerto Rico officials in corruption probe
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Two former Puerto Rico officials were indicted this week as part of a corruption probe over allegations of theft, money laundering and wire fraud. 

Puerto Rico's former Education Secretary Julia Keleher and former health insurance administration head Angela Avila-Marrero have been charged, according to an indictment published by Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día.

The managing partner of a Puerto Rico accounting firm and three others were also charged in the corruption probe.

Defendants are accused of working to use Puerto Rican public officials' positions to benefit and enrich themselves, as well as working to steer contracts toward certain firms.

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According to The Associated Press, the alleged fraud involves $15.5 million in federal funding, most of which was allegedly connected to Puerto Rico's Education Department. Of that total, $2.5 million was allegedly connected to the insurance administration.

“It was alleged that the defendants engaged in a public corruption campaign and profited at the expense of the Puerto Rican citizens and students," Neil Sanchez, special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General’s Southern Region, said during a press conference Wednesday morning. 

"This type of corruption is particularly egregious because it not only victimizes taxpayers, it victimizes those citizens and students that are in need of educational assistance,” he added.