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Friday, June 12, 2015

PR Superior Court Judge Sentenced To 10 Years For Accepting Bribes

Press Release / June 11, 2015

US Attorney's Office / District of Puerto Rico

A Puerto Rico Superior Court Judge was sentenced today to 10 years in prison
today after being convicted earlier this year of accepting bribes to acquit a bu-
sinessman of vehicular homicide charges.  Assistant Attorney General Leslie
R.Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney
Rosa Emilia RodríguezVélez of the District of Puerto Rico made the announ-

In January, a federal jury convicted Judge Manuel Acevedo-Hernandez, 63,
of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery
and receipt of a bribe by an agent of an organization receiving federal funds.
 Chief U.S. District Judge Aida M. Delgado of the District of Puerto Rico im-
posed the sentence.

Acevedo-Hernandez presided over the trial of Lutgardo Acevedo-Lopez, 39,
a certified public accountant in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.  Acevedo-Lopez was
charged with criminal vehicular homicide based on his role in a June 2012
collision involving the vehicle he was driving and another car, which resulted
in the death of the other driver.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Acevedo-Lopez used an interme-
diary to bribe Acevedo-Hernandez by paying taxes owed by Acevedo-Hernan-
dez; paying for the construction of a garage for Acevedo-Hernandez's home;
and providing Acevedo-Hernandez with a motorcycle, clothing and accesso-
ries, including cuff links and a watch.  In exchange, Acevedo-Hernandez ac-
quitted Acevedo-Lopez of all charges.

In August 2014, Acevedo-Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fe-
deral programs bribery and to paying a bribe to an agent of an organization
receiving federal funds.  Acevedo-Lopez has not yet been sentenced.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s San Juan Division.  The case was
prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter Mason and Menaka Kalaskar of the Cri-
minal Division’s Public Integrity Section and First Assistant U.S. Attorney
Timothy Henwood and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Capó of the District of
Puerto Rico.

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