Federal government pays people $1050 to destroy generator, cement mixer, backhoe, icebox, washer/dryer combo unit and trolleybuses. Why not sell them instead?

https://www.justice.gov/usao-pr/pr/three-individuals-indicted-and-arrested-lying-agency-united-states-and-embezzlement

Why is the federal government paying people $1050 to destroy a “generator, cement mixer, backhoe, icebox, washer/dryer combo unit and trolleybuses?” Why not sell them instead?  Doesn’t seem like smart government to pay for the destruction of property that is likely worth tens of thousands of dollars.  Makes one wonder how much other useful government property the US Taxpayers are paying money to destroy!!!  Will there be any charges for the government stupidity?

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Puerto Rico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Three Individuals Indicted And Arrested For Lying To An Agency Of The United States And The Embezzlement Of Government Property

SAN JUAN, P.R. – On January 15, 2020, a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned an indictment against David Luis Rey-Delgado, David Santiago-Delgado, and José Daniel Cruz Gómez-Hernández, charging them with false statements made to an agency of the United States, and multiple counts of embezzlement of government property, announced United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. The Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger are in charge of the investigation.

According to the information contained in the indictment, on June 11, 2019 David Luis Rey-Delgado and David Santiago-Delgado willfully and knowingly made a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Interior, a department or agency of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, by stating during an interview with the National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger, that the Polaris all-terrain vehicle had been bought from an unknown individual in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. The statements and representations were false because, as the defendants herein knew, the Polaris all-terrain vehicle had been taken from a parking garage without authorization and was not bought in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. Defendant Rey-Delgado is also facing one count for embezzlement of government property for knowingly stealing, purloining and converting to his use or the use of another a Polaris all-terrain vehicle, property of the United States of a value exceeding $1,000, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

The indictment also charges José Daniel Cruz Gómez-Hernández in two counts for false statements and six counts for the embezzlement of government property. As per the evidence, on August 23, 2019, Gómez-Hernández willfully and knowingly made a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Interior, by stating during an interview with the National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger, that he had disposed of the generator, cement mixer, backhoe, icebox, washer/dryer combo unit and trolleybuses that he was contracted to remove and destroy from the San Juan National Historic Site, a historical site managed by the National Park Service. The statements and representations were false because, as the defendant herein knew, the property was not destroyed and he kept them in a field for his own interest without authorization.

In addition, on April 8, 2019, defendant Gómez-Hernández took and submitted pictures of the generator, cement mixer, backhoe, icebox, washer/dryer combo unit and trolleybuses that he was contracted to remove and destroy. The statements and representations were false because, as the defendant herein knew, the property was not destroyed, and the photographs were submitted in order to receive the payment of $1,050.00, agreed to. Counts Six to Eleven of the Indictment constitute counts of embezzlement for each piece of property that the defendant was supposed to remove and destroy from the San Juan National Historic Site. The defendants are also facing a forfeiture count for the embezzled property.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney María L. Montañez-Concepción. If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000.00 for the false statements violations; and up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of not more than $250,000.00, for each embezzlement count.

Indictments contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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