The Chicago Syndicate: 2 School Board Members and Middleman Plead Guilty to Attempted Extortion

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

2 School Board Members and Middleman Plead Guilty to Attempted Extortion

Two elected members of the School Board of Donna pleaded guilty for accepting bribes in connection with a services contract held by the Donna Independent School District (DISD). A private citizen who served as a middleman in the scheme also pleaded guilty, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson and Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Eloy Infante, 54, Elpidio Yanez Jr., 45, and Adrian Guerrero, 50, all from Donna, pleaded guilty today to attempted interference with commerce by extortion. Infante and Yanez are both members of the Donna School Board and Guerrero is a private citizen. Sentencing is set for March 22, 2016.

In connection with their pleas, the defendants admitted that from February to May 2015, they attempted to extort, and solicited and accepted bribes from, an individual whose company provided services to the DISD. Specifically, the defendants informed the individual that in order for his company to keep its services contract with the DISD, he needed to pay Infante and Yanez $10,000 each. Both Infante and Yanez admitted that they accepted partial payment of the bribes, and Guerrero admitted that he served as the middleman for one of the payments.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo J. Leo III and Trial Attorney Monique Abrishami of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.

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