The president and secretary of VIP Healthcare Solutions, Inc., a company contracted to manage the Diagnostic and Treatment Center (CDT) “Job Andujar” in Catano, They pleaded guilty this Wednesday to several crimes in the Federal Court in Hato Rey.
The company VIP Healthcare Solutions, Inc., also pleaded guilty in the same hearing before the presiding judge of the federal court on the island, Raul Arias Marxuachreported the federal prosecutor’s office through written statements.
Ivelisse Rivera Padilla, president of the company and a licensed attorney, pleaded guilty “to 14 counts of bankruptcy fraud by making false representations,” the Public Ministry reported.
“Ivelisse Rivera Padilla concealed properties and income and failed to disclose her entire bankruptcy estate during the course of her bankruptcy proceedings, including, but not limited to, the creation, operation, ownership and control of VIP Healthcare, which operated the Catano CDT until approximately March 25, 2023″, the statement detailed.
The Federal Prosecutor’s Office added that Rivera Padilla “He also hid the purchase of an apartment located in the Golf & Playa condominium in Cabo Rojo for $270,000, and a land of 2,159.5152 square meters located in Rainforest and Sea View Resort in Luquillo, for $275,000. Rivera Padilla also hid his interest in another corporate entity known as Farmacia Libertad, as well as income from a rental property business through AirBnB.”
For its part, VIP Healthcare pleaded guilty to making a false statement in connection with a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Carrillo Torres, who was the company secretary, admitted in court that VIP Healthcare “falsely certified the accuracy of its April 7, 2020 PPP loan application for $249,755.35 and failed to identify additional owners of VIP Healthcare. who owned more than 20% of the company.”
Meanwhile, Carrillo Torres separately pleaded guilty, admitting “to having submitted the fraudulent PPP loan application on behalf of VIP Healthcare. Additionally, CarrilloTorres admitted to answering ‘no’ when asked to reveal whether any owners of VIP Healthcare were currently involved in any bankruptcy proceedings.”
“At that time, Carrillo Torres knew that his partner, Ivelisse Rivera Padilla, owned more than 20% of VIP Healthcare and was involved in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding. The pending bankruptcy would have prevented VIP Healthcare from obtaining the PPP loan if would have informed the United States Small Business Administration (SBA),” the statement detailed.
The sentencing hearing for Rivera Padilla and Carrillo Torres was scheduled for January 17, 2024.
Both agreed not to claim “any interest in the two hidden properties as part of their plea agreement, in addition to the sentence that Arias Marxuach will impose.
Last February, the Fefe of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Puerto Rico, William Stephen Muldrowreported that the fraud scheme for which both were accused lasted from March 2017 to May 2022.
By publishing the grand jury indictment, The new day reported that Rivera Padilla and Carrillo Torres were recruited as nominal owners by the convicted lawyer, Oscar Santamaria Torresalso owner of Waste Collection and Island Builders.
VIP Healthcare Solutions, Inc., was a third party company created by Santamaria Torresas revealed by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in the criminal complaint and plea agreement.
Federal authorities have uncovered several schemes in which the convicted businessman enriched himself by offering bribes to mayors of both government parties (People’s Democratic Party and New Progressive Party) in exchange for contracts. The company racked up over $9 million in contracts with the city during the then-mayor’s term. Felix “el Cano” Delgado.
“This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is a continuation of the investigation in relation to municipal contracts awarded by the Municipality of Catano that resulted in the conviction of multiple contractors and public officials,” the Federal Prosecutor’s Office indicated in a announced in February of this year.
Said statement highlighted that other cases that arose from the investigation led to accusations against Delgado, Santamaria Torres, Raymond Rodriguez, Pedro Marrero Miranda, Mario Villegas Vargas and Jose Bou Santiago.