Case against former IES CEO, president, financial director pushed back again




  • In US
  • 2022-12-10 04:54:00Z
  • By The Brownsville Herald, Texas

Dec. 9-The trial date for the former CEO, president, and financial director for IES or International Education Services has been pushed back again, after attorneys representing the men said they need more time to prepare for the case, federal court documents reflect.

Ruben Gallegos Sr., his son, Ruben Gallegos Jr., along with Juan Gonzalez, face theft and embezzlement charges that they are accused of committing during the time they worked and operated IES.

The trio were indicted on the charges in August. Count one of the indictment charges them with conspiracy. Count two charges them with theft concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Jury selection in their trials was scheduled to begin Jan. 17, 2023. However, it has been pushed back to March 7, 2023, after U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr., signed a motion granting the extension on Dec. 8.

According to the Dec. 7 filing requesting the continuation in the case, attorney's representing the men are still waiting to receive additional "discovery" or information from the U.S. Attorney's Office pertaining to the case to prepare for the trial.

"Plaintiff continues to provide discovery to Defendants on this matter and discovery in this matter is voluminous. Defendants received the first round of discovery from Plaintiff on or about November 1, (2022). Defendants have not been provided with a date wherein they can expect to receive all of the discovery. Until the defense has been provided with all discovery from Plaintiff and has ample time to review, the defense cannot proceed with determining and filing the necessary pretrial motions," the court filings read.

It further reads, "This request will not work to the detriment of the defendants and is not done solely for purposes of delay, but that defendants receive the benefit of fully prepared counsel."

According to the Aug. 30, unsealed federal indictment, from 2014 through 2018, Gallegos Sr., Gallegos Jr. and Gonzalez knowingly conspired with another unnamed person to commit an offense against the United States, to "embezzle, steal, obtain by fraud knowingly convert without authority, and intentionally misapply property that is valued at $5,000 U.S. dollars or more, and is owned by, or is under the care, custody, or control of, an organization that receives more than $10,000 U.S. dollars in federal assistance in any one-year period."

Among the charges and according to a portion of the indictment, Gallegos was paid salaries way over the $183,000 cap limit with his 2017 salary at $435,416.88.

The indictment also states Gallegos Sr. was paid $506,0032.22 and Gonzalez $377,060.96 - also in violation of the salary caps - but their names are redacted in the document.

The IES contracted with the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program and provided temporary shelter care and other related services to unaccompanied alien children, according to the federal indictment.

IES received almost all of its funding in the form of federal grants, and for each fiscal year from 2014 through 2018, it received millions of dollars in federal grant funds.

Gallegos Jr. served as CEO of IES from 2014 to 2018, Gallegos Sr. as president, and Gonzalez as finance director until the federal government decided it would not renew its funding for the IES shelter.

The United States Congress prohibited use of grant funds to pay salaries above a certain rate. In addition, federal regulations further limited spending of grant funds.

All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are out on bond.

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