Ex-housing official in South Texas gets prison for bid fraud

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A former housing official in a South Texas border town must serve more than three years in federal prison over rigged bids.
Prosecutors say 50-year-old Juan Jose Garza of La Joya was sentenced Wednesday in McAllen. Garza last May pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
Garza from 1999 through 2016 was executive director of the La Joya Housing Authority. The 2013 scheme involved construction for housing authorities in nearby Alamo and Donna.
Garza and a Mexican man, 52-year-old Armando Jimenez, submitted false low bids so Jimenez Construction would get the jobs. Jimenez submitted bogus invoices for work he claimed his company did, but was completed by subcontractors for Garza.
Jimenez also pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison, followed by possible deportation.

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