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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Report: Properties owned by governor’s cousins targeted in federal raids

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said he did not know why FBI agents executed search warrants at the properties owned by two of his cousins, and clarified that they are distant cousins.

By The Star Staff

The FBI and other federal agencies executed search warrants Thursday of a San Juan law firm and a private residence belonging to relatives of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, according to sources.

The FBI confirmed the report of the search warrant being executed but declined to reveal the targets. Nonetheless, sources confirmed that the San Juan residence of Eduardo Pierluisi Isern, a relative of the governor, was targeted as part of the search warrants. Officials searched for equipment and cellphones.

The search warrants were executed as part of a probe into possible irregularities involving public housing, the STAR learned. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Office of the Inspector General are participating in the raids.

Besides executing a search warrant at the law office of Pierluisi Isern Law Office PSC, which appears registered under the name of Walter Pierluisi Isern, the execution of another search warrant was allegedly going to take place against the offices of American Management and Administration Corp., an entity created in 1995 to manage public housing projects.

The island State Department’s Registry of Corporations notes that Walter Pierluisi Isern is the resident agent for American Management and Administration Corp.

Gov. Pierluisi said he did not know why FBI agents executed search warrants at the properties owned by two of his cousins. He also clarified that they are distant cousins.

“I don’t have any details about the reason for the raid,” he said in an aside at the Hospital Convention.

Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Secretary General Luis Vega Ramos called on the governor to immediately disclose all contracts, businesses, and pending issues or lobbying on the part of his aforementioned relatives.

“Once again, friends and relatives of Governor Pierluisi are involved in investigative processes at the federal level,” Vega Ramos said. “A few months ago his … student friend, ‘Joey’ Fuentes, pleaded guilty to illegal contributions to help his campaign and the governor distanced himself. Previously, his cousin Walter Pierluisi, whose law firm is being raided at the moment, was at the center of the defense of and questionable efforts around the illegal pool with fatuous permits in Rincón. In his 2016 primary campaign, the then-candidate Pedro Pierluisi gave assurances that no one in his family or relatives benefited from government contracts. The next day, we presented evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars in active government contracts then.”

“The time has come for Pedro Pierluisi to speak out and be accountable for the benefits [enjoyed by] his people,” the PDP official continued. “Disclose today the business and contracts in force with the government, in addition to the lobbying and similar matters pending that Eduardo Pierluisi, Walter Pierluisi’s law firm and the American Management company, also of the latter, have. The country deserves the truth now.”

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