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Accountant bribed Puerto Rico judge for acquittal after deadly car crash

A prominent Puerto Rico accountant pleaded guilty Thursday to bribing the judge who presided over his vehicular homicide trial and acquitted him of all charges.

Lutgardo Acevedo-Lopez, 39, was a certified public accountant in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. In June 2012, he was driving when he struck another car and killed the driver.

Acevedo-Lopez was charged with criminal vehicular homicide.  

Judge Manuel Acevedo-Hernandez, 62, a supervisory superior court judge in the Aguadilla judicial region of Puerto Rico, presided over the case and acquitted Acevedo-Lopez of all charges.

In his guilty plea, Acevedo-Lopez admitted bribing the judge by paying taxes he owed, paying for construction of a new garage at Judge Hernandez’s house, and giving the judge a motorcycle, clothing and accessories, including cufflinks and a watch.

Acevedo-Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8, 2014 before Chief U.S. District Judge Aida M. Delgado-Colón in San Juan.

Charges remain pending against Judge Hernandez. An indictment was unsealed in May in the District of Puerto Rico charging him with bribery-related offenses.  

The DOJ’s August 14, 2014 release is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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