Ex-Governor of Puerto Rico Wanda Vasquez is busted by FBI for bribery scheme

Ex-Governor of Puerto Rico Wanda Vasquez is busted by FBI for bribery scheme in which she pushed out government official in exchange for $300k bribes with Venezuelan bank owner

  • Vasquez, 62, partook in the scheme in 2020 alongside a former FBI agent, a political consultant, and an Italian bank owner, the Department of Justice said
  • She allegedly accepted the bribe to help her re-election in exchange for ousting the head of Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions in Puerto Rico
  • Despite the $300,000 bribery boost which the DOJ says was transferred to her accounts, Vasquez went on to lose the election 

The former governor of Puerto Rico was arrested on Thursday for allegedly removing a high-ranking government official in return for over $300,000 in funds for her 2020 gubernatorial campaign.

Wanda Vasquez, 62, allegedly accepted the bribe in exchange for ousting the head of Puerto Rico’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, who was investigating a San Juan bank owned by Julio Martín Herrera Velutini. 

She replaced the director with somebody hand-picked by Velutini and his consultant, FBI Special Agent Mark Rossini, according to the Department of Justice.

Vasquez, the second female governor of Puerto Rico, was running for reelection at the time after she’d assumed the office in 2019 when her predecessor was was forced out amidst protests.

She ‘demanded’ the official’s resignation in February of 2020, and replaced them in May of 2020.  

Despite the $300,000 bribery boost which the DOJ says was transferred to her accounts, Vasquez went on to lose the election.

‘Public corruption erodes the people’s trust in our institutions and fuels civil unrest,’ said the special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Juan Field Office, Joseph Gonzalez, ‘No one is above the law and the victim of this crime, the People, deserve better.’ 

Wanda Vasquez, 62, allegedly accepted the bribe in exchange for ousting the head of Puerto Rico's Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, who was investigating a San Juan bank owned by Julio Martín Herrera Velutini

Wanda Vasquez, 62, allegedly accepted the bribe in exchange for ousting the head of Puerto Rico’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, who was investigating a San Juan bank owned by Julio Martín Herrera Velutini 

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