MCALLEN, Texas — The former head of a border city’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office and her secretary are facing federal charges for their role in collecting bribes in exchange for services.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested 61-year-old Susana Mungia and 54-year old Lubina Pedraza. Mungia was the executive director of the City of Hidalgo’s Housing Authority who worked with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), while Pedraza was her secretary. According to a report by KRGV, the two women’s indictment was returned under seal on February 3rd and was unsealed this week after their arrest.
Shortly after their arrest, the two women went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos, who formally charged them with several counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery and embezzlement and ordered they be held without bond, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. If convicted, both women face up to 15 years in prison for the bribery charges and 5 years for conspiracy charges.
The court records state that from July 2011 to May 2014, the two women allegedly took bribes from individuals seeking housing assistance and then let them bypass procedures and wait times to immediately receive their benefits.
Also, from July 2013 to May 2014, the two women allegedly issued fraudulent subsidy checks for empty properties in order to keep the funds. Once the checks were made out and signed by Mungia, Pedraza would then go to local currency exchange stores to cash them and the two women would split the money.
In response to the overwhelming corruption in the Texas border, the FBI set up a public corruption task force which has begun tackling many of the corruption cases in the area, as Breitbart Texas previously reported.