Valley businessman sentenced to time served in Weslaco bribery case

2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago Tuesday, April 02 2024 Apr 2, 2024 April 02, 2024 10:40 PM April 02, 2024 in News - Local

A Rio Grande Valley businessman avoided prison after being sentence to time served.

Sunil B. Wadhwani spent only one day in federal custody after he was arrested in October 2019 in connection with a bribery investigation.

Wadhwani — who owned hotels in Hidalgo County — pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on May 2020 and had been out on bond since his arrest.

READ MORE: Rio Grande Valley businessman pleads guilty to wire fraud in Weslaco hotel bribery case

As part of his guilty plea, Wadhwani confessed to paying at least $4,000 in bribes in exchange for $300,000 from the Weslaco Economic Development Corporation to build a $3 million hotel in the city.

As part of the scheme, Wadhwani paid at least $4,000 to Ricardo “Rick” Quintanilla, a Weslaco businessman, who funneled the money to Weslaco City Commissioner Gerardo “Jerry” Tafolla.

Quintanilla and Tafolla were sentenced to 17 years and 30 months in prison, respectively, in connection with the federal bribery case regarding the Weslaco water treatment plant.

As part of his sentence, Wadhwani was fined $25,000, court records show. 

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