Headlines From Our Twitter Feed

Friday, May 22, 2015

Puerto Rico News Digest For May 22, 2015


L: Laurens Higler. R: Gerardo de La Paz.

Relatives of Laurens Higler, the Dutch globetrotter and sailor who was
killed in a hit and run car accident in  March, are in Puerto Rico to attend
a court hearing for 49-year-old Gerardo De La Paz, the man accused of
hitting Higler with his car by the side of the road in Guayama and fleeing
the scene. Mother Rianne Higler stated "It is unforgivable that he didn't
stop the car, that he didn't call 911 and that he didn't help my son", in re-
gards to De La Paz, as reported yesterday by El Nuevo Dia. Laurens
Higler would have turned 27 years old on May 20.

At the hearing, De La Paz -- who is free but wearing an ankle monitor --
opted to go directly to trial for the charges of negligent homicide and vio-
lating the recently amended Article 5.07 of Transit Law 22. He was also
driving with an expired driver's license. The judge set the trial date for
June 26. De La Paz could face prison time, but there is  also the possibility
that he might only get a suspended sentence. After the hearing, De La Paz
agreed to meet the late Higler's family in private, but after the brief encoun-
ter, De La Paz hurried out of the building accompanied by his lawyers.


From Caribbean Business:

After much debate and opposition, the House of Representatives app-
roved Thursday the tax bill that calls for the implementation of an
11.5% sales tax at cash registers, up from the current 7% paid under
the sales & use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym), after introducing
several amendments on the floor. The final vote count was 26 in favor
and 24 against, including two Popular Democratic Party (PDP) legisla-
tors, Reps. Carlos Vargas and Angel Matos, and the New Progressive
Party minority delegation. It now moves to the Senate, where discussi-
on on the amended bill is expected to take place Friday, with the upper
chamber's session slated to begin at 10 a.m.


From News Is My Business:

Government Development Bank President Melba Acosta came down
hard on Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to downgrade the Co-
mmonwealth’s credit rating deeper into junk status by saying the move
shows “ratings agencies are totally out of tune with what’s happening”
in Puerto Rico. Reading off an email she said she received earlier in the
day from a banker who expressed to her that markets were reacting fa-
vorably to the proposed increase in the sales and use tax — up to 11.5
percent from 7 percent approved Thursday by the House — and about
the budget, Acosta called Moody’s decision “a bit ironic.”


From FBI:

A federal grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico, returned an indictment
against five individuals for participating in bid rigging and fraud cons-
piracies at an auction for public school bus transportation contracts in
Puerto Rico’s Caguas municipality, the Department of Justice announ-
ced today. A seven-count felony indictment was filed yesterday in U.S.
District Court of the District of Puerto Rico in San Juan against five bus
transportation company owners: Gavino Rivera-Herrera, Luciano Vega-
Martínez, Alfonso Gonzales-Nevarez, José L. Arroyo-Quiñones and
René Garay-Rodríguez.

Count one charges the bus owners with participating in a conspiracy
to rig bids and allocate the market for public school bus transportation
services in the Caguas municipality. The second count charges the bus
owners with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and counts three through
seven charge the bus owners with committing mail fraud. According to
the indictment, the defendants and others defrauded, and conspired to
defraud, the Puerto Rico Department of Education and the Caguas mu-
nicipality, among others, in order to fraudulently obtain contracts for
school bus transportation services.

No comments:

Post a Comment