April 13 (UPI) — Former Puerto Rico Senator Hector Martinez Maldonado was sentenced to four years in federal prison for accepting high-priced boxing tickets in exchange for legislation favorable to a private company, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
The man who offered the bribe — Juan Bravo Fernandez, the former president of Ranger American, one of the largest private security companies in Puerto Rico — will also serve two years in prison.
According to prosecutors, in 2005, Bravo Fernandez, 63, gave Martinez Maldonado, 49, and Jorge de Castro Font, 54, another former Puerto Rico senator, an all expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to watch the fight between Winky Wright and Felix “Tito” Trinidad, one of the most well-known boxers in Puerto Rico.
The trip included first-class airfare to Las Vegas and hotel rooms at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, as well as hotel rooms in Miami for a return trip back to Puerto Rico.
On March 2, 2005 — the same day Bravo Fernandez paid for the $1,000 boxing tickets — Martinez Maldonado submitted a public safety bill that was favorable to Fernandez’s company. The day after they returned, Martinez Maldonado and de Castro Font voted in favor of the bill.
De Castro Font pleaded guilty in 2009 to 20 counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion. In 2011, he was sentenced to 60 months in prison.