The City of El Paso announced in early November they had been scammed out of approximately $3.2 million dollars. Tuesday afternoon, city officials released about a dozen emails that detailed how the scam started.
“We want the public to see the events and how the events happened”, said Mayor Oscar Leeser.
The emails were between the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority and a phony contractor identifying themselves as Granite Construction. Granite is a real company but the emails show the scammer gave the city a different bank account number for them to pay into.
Looking back, the chairwoman for the RMA says there are a lot of things they should have questioned.
“But when you think you’re dealing with a legitimate entity then you treat them like you normally do our regular vendor,” says, Susan Melendez .
The CRMA has been arround since 2007 and since then they have dealt with millions of dollars. They say this is the first time anything like this has ever happened to them and they are proud of their track record.
In September, Granite Construction contacted the CRMA letting them know they had not received a payment. The city was not aware of the situation until October but at this point they were already out $2.9 million dollars.
The CRMA is scheduled to meet on Friday and further discuss the emails. They do assure the public that the Streetcar Project is on schedule and within budget.
Since the scam happened, a total of $1.9 million dollars has been recovered, the case remains under investigation.