• The San Juan Daily Star

Preliminary hearing for ex-Treasury chief set for Friday

Former Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado Gautier

By The Star Staff

The Office of the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel (OPFEI by its Spanish initials) said a preliminary hearing against former Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado Gautier on six complaints for alleged violations of the Government Ethics Law and the Penal Code is slated for Friday.

The hearing had been originally scheduled for April but was postponed because Maldonado Gautier’s wife was ill.

Earlier this year, a San Juan Judge found probable cause against Maldonado Gautier and set a bond of $5,000 for each complaint, for a total bond of $30,000, which Maldonado Gautier posted through a private bondsman.

Of the six complaints filed by special independent prosecutors (FEIs) Manuel Núñez Corrada and Miguel Colón, three were under article 5.7A of the Government Ethics Law, which penalizes the falsification or non-presentation of financial information. Each charge corresponds to the three years in which the OPFEI investigation found violations in the preparation of the financial reports of the former Treasury secretary (2016, 2017 and 2018).

Meanwhile, three other complaints were filed under article 269 of the Penal Code (perjury), corresponding to the three years in which Maldonado Gautier was part of the executive cabinet of then-Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares.

Núñez Corrada said during the probable cause hearing that Maldonado Gautier hid income amounting to $170,688.27 over a period of three years: $77,915.91 in 2016, $80,772.36 in 2017 and $10,000 in 2018. The FEI noted that the certified public accountant also had ample opportunity to amend the reports to include that income, but as of October 2020 had not. Financial reports to the Government Ethics Office were amended, however.

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