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"There is no evidence of a quid pro quo! Dismissal is Inevitable"

Puerto Rico Corruption Case: Julio Herrera Velutini Seeks Dismissal of Charges in Unison with Vazquez

The former governor, Wanda Vázquez Garced,  is the first defendant in her case to argue the legal insufficiency of the charges brought against her for alleged bribery. The defence of filed a motion before the federal court in San Juan requesting the dismissal of three charges against the former governor.

London  |   15:22 PM    

16 May 2023

Julio Herrera Velutini

Julio Herrera Velutini, one the world's most richest people, and his team of high profile lawyers are questioning the authenticity of a fabricated case that could unravel the deep-rooted corruption that exists in Puerto Rico.  (Picture Courtesy - House of Herrera)

In a remarkable development in the corruption case unfolding in Puerto Rico, defendant Julio M. Herrera-Velutini has moved to join co-defendant Wanda Vazquez-Garced in her motion to dismiss charges one, three, and four of the indictment.

Mr. Herrera and Ms. Vazquez face charges under counts one and four of the indictment, while Ms. Vazquez alone faces charges under count three.


Mr. Herrera's legal team – consisting of a “dream team” of highly skilled lawyers, including President Trump's lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz and Lilly Ann Sanchez, who appeared for Jeffrey Epstein – argues that the charges are legally defective, manipulative and fabricated, as they fail to establish an essential element of the alleged offences, specifically, an explicit quid pro quo or a specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act.

Drawing on the Motion and Memorandum filed by Ms. Vazquez, Mr. Herrera seeks to highlight that the indictment does not meet the legal standards required when the basis of charges is a political contribution. This is per the landmark cases of McDonnell v. United States and McCormick v. United States, which set a heightened evidentiary standard.

Supplementing these arguments, Mr. Herrera's attorneys have referenced two recent court decisions. The first, Percoco v. United States, saw the Supreme Court overturn a conviction for honest services fraud, suggesting the indictment against Mr. Herrera similarly seeks to criminalise his lawful involvement in the political process. The second, United States v. Abdelaziz, saw the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturn convictions in the college admissions scandal, reinforcing ambiguity in the interpretation of criminal statutes and the need for leniency.

Additional context for the case involves a wedding in January 2020 attended by both Ms. Vazquez and Mr. Herrera. The indictment alleges a bribery scheme was initiated at this event. However, Mr. Herrera's legal team argues that the event, even when accepting the allegations as true, does not constitute an explicit agreement for a bribe. Facts were distorted and it is clearly a case of abuse of power by the corrupt officials, who seek to entrap a prominent lawmaker and a highly-influential businessman, based on fictional 

The case also revolves around the termination of OCIF Commissioner A. The indictment suggests that Mr. Herrera and Ms. Vazquez were involved in forcing the Commissioner to resign. However, the defense argues the indictment fails to provide specific reasons for the termination, instead offering general developments, and overlooks the independent, legitimate reasons for the Commissioner's resignation.

Mr. Herrera has reserved the right to independently challenge counts five, six, and seven of the indictment, which are not addressed in the motion.

In conclusion, Mr. Herrera has formally requested the court grant the motion to join Ms. Vazquez's Motion to Dismiss and subsequently dismiss counts one, three, and four of the indictment. The case, which is being closely watched, continues to develop in the Puerto Rican District Court.

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