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Home » News » FORMER MAYOR OF CRYSTAL CITY, TX SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR BRIBERY AND KICKBACK SCHEME

FORMER MAYOR OF CRYSTAL CITY, TX SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR BRIBERY AND KICKBACK SCHEME

In Del Rio today, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses sentenced Ricardo Lopez, the former Mayor of Crystal City,
TX, to 97 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and to pay $24,003.95
restitution, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher
Combs.
“Today Mr. Lopez received a fair sentence for his betrayal of the public trust. This case is just one example of
our office’s unyielding fight against public corruption in Central and West Texas,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.
“Citizens deserve honest and faithful service from their public officials. Greed and self-interest have no place in
public service. Officials who betray the public and violate their oath of office will be thoroughly investigated
and held accountable,” said FBI SAC Combs.
On June 26, 2017, a federal jury convicted Lopez of one count of conspiracy to commit bribery involving
federal programs, one substantive count of bribery involving federal programs, one count of conspiracy to
commit wire fraud and theft of honest services and four substantive counts of wire fraud and theft of honest
services. Jurors also convicted William James Jonas, III, the former City Manager and City Attorney for
Crystal City, of one count of conspiracy to commit bribery involving federal programs, three substantive counts
of bribery involving federal programs, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and theft of honest
services, five substantive counts of wire fraud and theft of honest services, and four counts of wire fraud.
Testimony provided during trial revealed that between May 2012 and February 2016, Jonas, Lopez, and other
city officials used their official positions to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting bribes from persons
seeking to do business in Crystal City. Jonas and Lopez also used emails, texts and phone calls to carry out
their scheme to defraud Crystal City and its citizens through bribery and the concealment of information.
On May 16, 2018, Judge Moses sentenced Jonas to 420 months in federal prison followed by three years of
supervised release. Judge Moses also ordered that Jonas pay $1,047,814.05 restitution to Crystal City. Three
other individuals—former Mayor Pro-Tem Rogelio Mata, former City Councilman Roel Mata and former City
Councilman Gilbert Urrabazo—have pleaded guilty to a federal programs bribery charge and face up to ten
years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Sentencing for all three former city officials is scheduled for
September 6, 2018, in Del Rio before Judge Moses.
The FBI conducted this investigation with the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal
Investigative Division, the Texas Rangers and the San Antonio Police Department. Assistant United States
Attorney William R. Harris is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government

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