Nogales Mayor Back to Work Despite Fraud and Money Laundering Charges
At most places of employment, someone charged with defrauding their employer would get fired -- or at least placed on leave until the whole thing was sorted out. Not if you work for the City of Nogales, where the boss -- in theory -- is the taxpayer.
Nogales Mayor Octavio Garcia Von Borstel is reportedly back to work at City Hall today after having been released from jail on Friday.
If you didn't already know, the 29-year-old mayor got in a little bit of trouble last month.
According to the Arizona 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, was involved, 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Of the $3.2 million Garcia Von Borstel and his father allegedly stole from Western Union, $565,000 was withdrawn from the bank account for their "personal use."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.