Puerto Rico Businessman Pleads Guilty To Bribing Judge

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Ludgardo Acevedo

News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Fri. Aug. 15, 2014: A 39-year-old Puerto Rico businessman has pleaded guilty to bribing a senior Puerto Rico judge.

Lutgardo Acevedo-Lopez, a certified public accountant in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to bribing Superior Court Judge Manuel Acevedo-Hernandez.

On June 30, 2012, a car driven by Acevedo-Lopez collided with another car, resulting in the death of the other car’s driver.   Acevedo-Lopez was charged with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the incident.

Acevedo-Hernandez, a supervisory superior court judge in the Aguadilla judicial region of Puerto Rico, presided over the case and acquitted Acevedo-Lopez of all charges.

In his plea agreement, Acevedo-Lopez admitted that he bribed Acevedo-Hernandez to use his official position as a judge for Acevedo-Lopez’s benefit.

Specifically, Acevedo-Lopez admitted that he used an intermediary to bribe Acevedo-Hernandez by paying taxes owed by Acevedo-Hernandez, paying for the construction of a garage for Acevedo-Hernandez, and providing Acevedo-Hernandez with a motorcycle, clothing and accessories, including cufflinks and a watch.

In exchange, Acevedo-Hernandez acquitted Acevedo-Lopez of all charges.

Acevedo-Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 8, 2014 before Chief U.S. District Judge Aida M. Delgado-Colón in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Charges remain pending against Acevedo-Hernandez, who was charged with bribery-related offenses in an indictment unsealed on May 28, 2014, in the District of Puerto Rico.