OIG: Office of Inspector General
   Current Section

Investigation Report

U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Texas
Johnny Sutton, U.S. Attorney


August 29, 2008
Shana Jones, Special Assistant
Daryl Fields, Public Information Officer
(210) 384-7440

El Paso Independent School District Trustee Indicted

United States Attorney Johnny Sutton announced today that Salvador Marcos Mena, Jr., aka Sal Mena, was charged in an eight count indictment on August 14, 2008 on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, deprivation of right to honest services and making false statements to obtain credit. He was arrested today by the FBI in west El Paso.

According to the indictment, the defendant, during the time he was an elected Trustee of the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), conspired with others to devise a scheme to defraud the EPISD and the citizens of El Paso living in the EPISD, of the right to his honest services performed in his capacity as an elected EPISD Trustee, in the affairs of the EPISD. It further alleges that the defendant set up a sham consulting contract with a vendor whereby he received income, but provided no consulting services. Additionally, in exchange for his vote, support and influence for vendors, he instructed vendors seeking to do business with EPISD to make contributions to his election and re-election campaigns. The Indictment also alleges Mena accepted cash bribes in exchange for his vote and official influence.

In January and February 2006, the defendant, made material false statements to a financial institution to obtain a loan, which purported to be a home improvement loan for the remodeling of the residence of a family member. The defendant knew the money was not intended for that purpose, in violation of federal law.

“ The El Paso division of the FBI has diligently worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office on this indictment. The FBI will continue to aggressively pursue all logical avenues of investigation in the overall case and we will seek similar charges against other individuals when evidence of criminal activity has been fully documented,” stated Special Agent in Charge David Cuthbertson.

This is an ongoing investigation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorney Debra Kanof.

An indictment a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

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Last Modified: 09/08/2008