A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment, issued in July 2019, against former Education Department and Health Insurance Administration (PRHIA) heads Julia Keleher and Ángela Ávila, and the new indictment adds a defendant who is unidentified because he or she has not been arrested, according to a motion by the federal prosecutor.
The new indictment was released by U.S. reporter Andrew Scurria, who covers Puerto Rico for The Wall Street Journal. The superseding indictment replaces the one issued on July 10, 2019, against Keleher, Ávila, and contractors Alberto Velázquez Piñol and Fernando Scherrer. Federal authorities have identified the new defendant as "Defendant 7."
“Defendant 7 has yet to be arrested,” says the document released by Scurria, in which the federal prosecutor asks to omit all references to the man or woman´s identity until that person is arrested. “The United States respectfully requests that the Court file a redacted version of the returned superseding indictment to omit all references to Defendant 7′s identity until Defendant 7 is arrested,” reads the motion.
Keleher, Ávila, Velázquez Piñol, and Scherrer, who at the time was the president of BDO consulting in Puerto Rico, were charged in July 2019 with conspiracy to commit fraud, theft, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to launder money. Their arrests triggered protests that ended 15 days later with former governor Ricardo Roselló's resignation.
Keleher has unsuccessfully tried to have the charges against her dismissed. The trial is scheduled to begin in February 2021.
Last January, Keleher was also included in another indictment for allegedly giving part of school property to the administration of the Ciudadela condominium -next to that school- in exchange for a favorable agreement to buy an apartment in that complex. That case has not gone to trial either.