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March 25, 09

NEWS / PUERTO RICO POLITICAL CONSULTANT SENTENCED TO THREE MONTHS IN PRISON AND THREE MONTHS OF HOME DETENT


WASHINGTON—Alberto Goachet, 67, a political consultant and aide to former Puerto Rico Sen. Jorge De Castro Font, was sentenced today to three months in prison, three months of home detention and three years of supervised release, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez.

Goachet was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Francisco Augusto Besosa in the District of Puerto Rico. Judge Besosa ordered Goachet to surrender no later than April 24, 2009, by noon, at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where he will serve his sentence.

Goachet pleaded guilty on Dec. 4, 2008, to a one-count information charging him with conspiring with De Castro Font and others to launder money provided by a Puerto Rico businessman to De Castro Font. Goachet admitted that he, De Castro Font and others laundered the money through the use of fake invoices purporting to reflect legitimate payments to a political consulting firm owned by Goachet. The false invoices were meant to conceal the businessman’s illegal payments to De Castro Font

As part of his plea agreement, Goachet also admitted that in August 2008, he was asked by the FBI about the money laundering scheme, and during that interview he falsely claimed that the invoices were legitimately drafted for services rendered to the businessman. Goachet admitted that he had denied that the money was intended eventually for De Castro Font, when in fact he knew the invoices were fraudulent and the money was intended for De Castro Font.

De Castro Font pleaded guilty to 20 counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion on Jan. 21, 2009. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Matthew L. Stennes of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy R. Henwood and Jacqueline Novas of the District of Puerto Rico. The case is being supervised by Section Chief William M. Welch II of the Public Integrity Section and U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez of the District of Puerto. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s San Juan Field Office.


 




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