Puerto Rico - Wanda Vazquez - Electoral crime Federal authorities are investigating former Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez and members of her campaign team for allegedly having accepted illegal financing from Venezuelan Julio M. Herrera Velutini, owner of Bancrédito International Bank and Trust.
Image via AP Photo/Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo, file.

The former governor’s campaign team allegedly accepted financing from a foreigner, which is prohibited by federal law.

Wanda Vázquez, the former governor of Puerto Rico, is expected to face criminal charges for an alleged illegal financing scheme during her 2020 campaign.

In an exclusive interview with Telenoticias, Vázquez confirmed that she has hired attorney Luis Plaza Mariota, who has vast experience in federal court.

Federal authorities are investigating Vázquez and members of her campaign team for allegedly having accepted financing from a foreigner, which is prohibited by federal law. The investigation is also looking into whether the donor benefitted in some way.

Sources from El Nuevo Día confirmed that John Blakeman, strategist and fundraiser for Vázquez’s campaign, has been in negotiations with federal authorities for his role in the scheme. Lillian Sánchez, former executive assistant to the former governor, has spoken with the authorities too, according to the news outlet.

The investigation focuses on an alleged illegal donation made by Venezuelan Julio M. Herrera Velutini, owner of Bancrédito International Bank and Trust.

Bancrédito Holding also contributed to the Pierluisi super PAC, donating $50,000 to Salvemos a Puerto Rico on Oct. 10, 2020, and an additional $25,000 on Aug. 10, 2021.

That super PAC is also under federal investigation, and its director, Joseph Fuentes, pleaded guilty last Monday for hiding a portion of the donations.

APlaza said that it will be a very technical case, while Vázquez maintains that she did not do anything outside of the law and will prevail.