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Arrests Made as Feds Just Uncovered Massive Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria Corruption Scam



President Trump has repeatedly slammed Puerto Rican officials for their handling of the Hurricane Maria relief effort, decrying the unincorporated U.S. territory as “one of the most corrupt places on earth.” On Tuesday, the FBI took action to crack down on corruption involving Maria relief, though rather than targeting Puerto Rican leaders, the bureau arrested two former FEMA officials — one of whom held a key position in the Obama administration — and a contractor.

“Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth. Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt,” Trump tweeted as Hurricane Dorian picked up steam two weeks ago. “Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good!”

Trump’s criticism of Puerto Rican officials has been one of his steady themes since the devastating hurricane wreaked havoc on the island in 2017. Amid criticism for his supposedly “tepid response” to the disaster, Trump has repeatedly pointed the finger at Puerto Rico’s leadership, accusing them of botching the relief effort and wasting resources.

On Tuesday, Trump’s “corruption” claims about Hurricane Maria relief efforts were partly affirmed, but the alleged culprits were two former federal officials and a contractor, not Puerto Rican officials.

“A former top administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency was arrested on Tuesday in a major federal corruption investigation that found that the official took bribes from the president of a company that secured $1.8 billion in federal contracts to repair Puerto Rico’s shredded electrical grid after Hurricane Maria,” The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The most high-profile of the arrests was Ahsha Tribble, FEMA’s former deputy administrator for the region including Puerto Rico who also once served as Homeland Security adviser for the Obama administration. A second former FEMA employee, Jovanda Patterson, who served as deputy chief of staff in Puerto Rico, was also arrested. The third suspect is Donald Keith Ellison, former president of Cobra Acquisitions.

Puerto Rico’s U.S Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez Vélez revealed Tuesday that Tribble had a “close personal relationship” with Ellison, the Times notes. Cobra Acquisitions went on to hire Patterson, according to Vélez.

Prosecutors say Tribble, Patterson and Ellison defrauded the federal government. Ellison allegedly offered Tribble a “stream of benefits,” including helping her get an apartment in New York, first-class airplane tickets, hotel stays, and the use of one of his credit cards in exchange for Tribble helping secure a major contract for Ellison’s company. The indictment alleges that Tribble and Ellison attempted to conceal their special relationship and gifts through various means, including using a disposable cellphone.

“In return for the gifts, Ms. Tribble is accused of performing official acts to advance Cobra’s interests,” the Times details. “For example, according to the indictment, in February 2018, after the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reported an explosion at a substation in Monacillo, P.R., that left several municipalities without power, Ms. Tribble insisted that the public utility hire Cobra to make repairs or risk not getting reimbursed by FEMA — even though leaders of the utility insisted they could do the same work at a far lower cost.”

A version of this story appears on the Daily Wire website.

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  • stephen russell says:

    don’t forget the ex Governor 2 & allies holding up supplies for victims of Hurricane Maria, A-Z, no exception, or PR won’t change for better

  • Polly says:

    Thieves and liars.All decisions have consequences now.Jail time for a long time

  • Pj says:

    Chuck Schumer said Nancy Pelosi wants to Sent them more of the taxpayer’s money.

  • Bob says:

    If and/or when America provides relief for the current hurricane, perhaps we can pay legitment contractors directly. By pass the government interference

    • chrisVN says:

      Like the clinton foundation??? lol

    • George says:

      Hillary tried that after the Haiti earthquake disaster. But in that case, in order to get a contract to help rebuild Haiti, the contractor had to “donate” to the Clinton Foundation. Then the again had to “donate” to the Clinton foundation a percentage of their profits. Hillary was Secretary of State at the time.

  • Debbie says:

    good!! that lady I believe she was a mayor that kept getting on tv down grading trump should be arrested also.. what they all did was just horrible 🙁 I do feel so sorry for the people that lives there 🙁

  • Cecelia Henderson says:

    Our President is right again. Porta Rica officials tried to blame all their problems on President Trump while they were standing there all indignant with their hands in the American taxpayers’ pockets. Corruption killed and injured their people, not our President. I’m glad they won’t ever an American State.

  • Dolores herrmann says:

    Didn’t Hillary do the same. Believe it was Haiti

  • Jim C says:

    Its finally coming to light, how crooked Obama and his people are and were. There will be more, much more as time goes by.

  • George says:

    More corruption coming from the Obama administration. Not surprising. The Obama administration was the most corrupt administration in US history. So these people learned how to do it from there.

  • AL says:

    Can’t we just say to Puerto Rico that they are now on their own with no relationship with the US. Let them take on the responsibility of being their own country and not a leach off the USA.

  • Madeleine says:

    Drain the Swamp Mr. President and clean house! God bless you in the process always

  • Dutchuncle says:

    How many times does the LEFT have to be PROVEN WRONG about allegation from Trump haters before they find out THEY ARE WRONG???? Trump just keeps proving them wrong time after time and time after time they say…”Trump in a disaster”. Disturbing

  • Red Devil 5th inf. says:

    Founded in 2015 in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s tiny Montana hometown, Whitefish had just two employees when Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017. The company was ousted weeks later by Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority amid concerns about the slow pace of recovery and eyebrow-raising charges that included electrical linemen hired at a rate of more than $300 per hour.
    There was a lot of corruption going on and I would bet that there still is, billions are up for grabs and people are greedy. I dare them to accuse President Trump of anything!!!

  • RWF