Businessman pleads guilty to providing $33,000 Rolex watch to mayor in Puerto Rico in exchange for municipal contracts

SAN JUAN – This Tuesday, the entrepreneur José Bou Santiago pleaded guilty to bribing Félix Delgado, former mayor of Cataño (northeast), in exchange for contracts in the municipality that benefited his maintenance service company.

Bou Santiago, 50, owner of Bou Maintenance Service Corp., is the fourth contractor to plead guilty to bribing Delgado of the ruling New Progressive Party, the San Juan Federal Prosecutor’s Office reported in a press release.

According to the indictment, in April 2019, Bou met at Delgado’s house and gave the bribe in exchange for contracts for his construction company that was taking care of the maintenance of green areas and purchase and rental of vehicles as the opportunity arose.

And to remain competitive in these types of municipal contracts, Bou agreed to provide Delgado with a Rolex watch, valued at $33,000, in exchange for the deal with his company Bou Maintenance Service.

Thus, sometime after the watch exchange, Bou and his company were awarded a contract from the Municipality of Cataño to offer construction services for approximately $190,000, the indictment details.

Bou pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a bribery scheme.

Although the crime of conspiracy to commit bribery with federal funds carries a maximum sentence of 5 years with three years of supervised release, the recommendation of the Public Ministry was 24 months in prison, a $13,000 fine, and the confiscation of the Rolex watch.

Bou faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.