Comptroller’s probe indicates falsified fuel invoices cost San Lorenzo almost $200,000
By The Star Staff
The Comptroller of Puerto Rico on Monday published the results of an investigation into the billing and disbursements issued for fuel delivery to municipal vehicles in San Lorenzo which indicated that the supplier invoiced at a premium and sent wholesaler’s documents to the municipality that were not legitimate.
The investigation revealed that the supplier presented the municipality with false invoices from the wholesaler, which represented an overpayment of $198,348 for the period of investigation from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.
The situation, contrary to the second clause of the contracts formalized for fuel dispatch in 2019 and 2020, could have constituted a violation of Law 146-2012, the Puerto Rico Penal Code, as amended, the comptroller said.
The result of the investigation was referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice on March 3 of this year so that they can proceed as they deem pertinent. The comptroller’s report recommends that the mayor of San Lorenzo proceed with the recovery of disbursements paid in excess to the supplier, among other recommendations.
The analysis of 48 invoices revealed that the supplier interspersed the false invoices among supporting documents. Those invoice documents lacked the company logo and the contact details of the wholesaler.
In addition, the supplier’s invoices reflected higher prices than those invoiced by the wholesaler. The municipality’s pre-intervention officer confirmed to Comptroller’s Office auditors that he had never communicated with the wholesaler to validate the authenticity of the invoices, nor did he notice the format change.