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A disaster relief administrator was arrested for allegedly taking bribes from a company that landed $1.8 billion to restore electricity to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Officials arrested Ahsha Nateef Tribble - FEMA’s then deputy administrator for the region that includes Puerto Rico - and Donald Keith Ellison, the former president of a company called Cobra Acquisitions - because it's alleged he gave Tribble airline flights, hotel accommodations, personal security services and the use of a credit card.
Return - Tribble - Opportunity - Cobra - US
In return, Tribble 'used any opportunity she had to benefit Cobra,' said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez. That allegedly included accelerating payments to the company and pressuring local power authority officials to award it contracts.
Ellison also gave a job to a friend of Tribble, Jovanda R. Patterson, who had been FEMA deputy chief of staff in Puerto Rico before resigning in July 2018 to work for Cobra Energy LLC, according to the indictment.
Former - FEMA - Official - Patterson - Indictment
Former FEMA official Patterson was also arrested on a 15-count indictment announced by the U.S attorney's office in Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
The trio were arrested on charges including conspiracy to commit bribery of public officials, acts affecting a personal financial interest, false statements, disaster fraud, and honest services wire fraud, the Department of Justice said.
Authorities - Tribble - Monday - Florida - Ellison
Authorities said Tribble was arrested Monday in Florida while Ellison was detained in Oklahoma.
Tribble was placed on administrative leave as officials probed the allegations against her.
Defendants - Puerto - Rico - Recovery - Devastation
'These defendants were supposed to come to Puerto Rico to help during the recovery after the devastation suffered from Hurricane Maria,' U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez said.
'Instead, they decided to take advantage of the precarious conditions of our electric power grid and engaged in a bribery and honest services wire fraud scheme in order to enrich themselves illegally.
Government - Officials
She added: 'All government officials are...
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