POSTED: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 5:42pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 1:59pm
EL PASO- Lorenzo Garcia appeared before a judge today and his bond was set at $50,000.
Lorenzo Garcia was brought out in a blue jumpsuit, property of the El Paso County Detention Facility, with chains around his wrist, waist, and feet. Judge Richard Mesa read Garcia his charges, three counts of mail fraud and one count of embezzlement.
If found guilty, Garcia could face up to 20 years in jail for each mail fraud charge and up to 10 years for the embezzlement charge . Judge Mesa set Garcia’s bond at $50,000. Garcia’s attorney said they already had the check for the $5,000 deposit.
His attorney also told us that there’s no way Garcia will plead guilty and he’s confident he will be acquitted.
Here's more on the specific charges against Dr. Garcia. The centerpiece of the indictment involves a contract adopted by EPISD.
The government says Dr. Garcia and a co-conspirator pocketed hundreds of thousands dollars in illegal profits- money given to the district by El Paso taxpayers. The FBI says Garcia allegedly directed a contract valued around half a million dollars towards a Houston-based company, Infinity Resources and Associates.
The president of the company is a woman named Tracy Rose. Garcia had a personal relationship with her, yet he failed to tell the board of trustees about his relationship with Rose and his financial interest in her company. According to court documents, Garcia convinced Rose to enter the contract with EPISD and set the value of the contract to be higher than what rose believed to be accurate.
In July 2006, Garcia told infinity resources and associates to submit an affidavit and letter to EPISD to request a no-bid contract where the company was the sole source of the products and services it offered. The next month, the company received two checks from the school district amounting to $180,000 each. One charge against Garcia is aiding and abetting theft from programs that receive federal funds.