The former Interim Executive Director for the La Joya Housing Authority will appear before a magistrate judge on Friday, a release stated.
According to U.S. District Attorney Ryan K. Patrick, 52-year-old Frances Salinas De Leon is facing charges of wire fraud.
The criminal complaint stated that from June 2018 until approximately November 2018, Salinas De Leon acted as an intermediary between Sylvia Garces Valdez and a local elected official. The report added that Salinas De Leon helped secure a public relations contract for Valdez.
Patrick said that the charges detailed text conversations between Valdez and Salinas De Leon in which DeLeon stated to have a direct connection with a La Joya official. According to the complaint, the La Joya individual would ensure the contract’s approval and any necessary amendment.
Patrick says that Salinas De Leon also set the amount of payment under the contract and that Valdez would have to give the money to DeLeon upon the contract’s approval.
The release also stated that the women e-mailed each other about the contract and that Valdez also sent additional ones at DeLeon’s direction.
If Salinas De Leon is convicted, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine, the release said.
Patrick added that Valdez is also charged in a related case. The release stated Valdez could face up to 10 years behind bars and a possible $250,000 fine.
The FBI and Department of Housing and Urban Development—Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation, the release stated.