Former Texas housing officials sentenced for bribery scheme
Pleaded guilty in taking bribes from Section 8 applicants
Two former Hidalgo, Texas housing officials were sentenced Wednesday for conspiracy to commit bribery.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who accepted the guilty pleas, handed Susana Munguia, a former executive director for the City of Hidalgo Housing Authority, a 57-month sentence, while Lubana Pedraza, a former secretary, was ordered to serve 46 months. The sentences will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Munguia and Pedraza were also ordered to forfeit approximately $14,497 in illicit proceeds. In handing down the sentence, Judge Alvarez noted that "we cannot allow public corruption to spread. There is no excuse for someone who takes a position in the public sector and then illegally uses that position for their own benefit."
From July of 2011 to May of 2014, Munguia and Pedraza admitted they used their positions as public officials and took more than $14,000 in bribes from Section 8 housing applicants in exchange for letting them skip the waiting line and immediately obtain housing assistance from the HCVP.
According to U.S. Attorney General Kenneth Magidson, Munguia and Pedraza pleaded guilty July 13, 2015.
Previously released on bond, the women were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
(Correction: This article previously incorrectly stated that Munguia and Pedraza were employees of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, based on information from the U.S. Attorney's Office, which has since been corrected. This article is now changed to reflect that correction.)