Nogales Mayor Arrested at City Hall; Indicted on Bribery, Theft, Fraud, and Money Laundering Charges
The 29-year-old mayor of Nogales, and his 59-year-old father, were arrested this morning on multiple charges including bribery, theft, fraud and money laundering.
Mayor Octavio Garcia Von Borstel was taken into custody at his office at the Nogales City Hall this morning.
According to the Attorney General's Office, the FBI began investigating Garcia Von Borstel five months ago and found he'd been soliciting businesses in Nogales to hire him as a business consultant while an elected official with influence over city contracts.
At least one business admitted to the federal agents that it was paying Garcia Von Borstel to obtain business contracts with the City of Nogales.
In other words, the AG's Office alleges Garcia Von Borstel was having businesses pay him as a "business consultant" in exchange for him using his position as mayor to grant them government contracts.
According to the indictment, the mayor took 2,000 bribe as an elected official on July 6, 2010 and 4,000 on July 31, 2010.
Garcia Von Borstel's father, Octavio Garcia Suarez, got pinched today, too.
Garcia Suarez was an agent for Western Union and was authorized to sell Western Union money orders.
The AG's Office alleges Garcia Suarez was basically just printing out money orders -- $3.2 million worth -- with no cash to back them up.
The money orders were cashed by Garcia Von Borstel and deposited into a bank account he controlled.
Of the $3.2 million Garcia Von Borstel and his father allegedly stole from Western Union, $565,000 was withdrawn from the bank account for their "personal use."
"These charges are serious violations of the law. Because some charges involve the official actions of an elected official, they violate the public trust," Attorney General Terry Goddard says. "Both the mayor and his father will be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
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