Insurance Agent’s Sentencing Postponed Again

Aaron Gonzalez, a former South Texas insurance agent, was to be sentenced for his crimes on July 23. His sentencing, however, was postponed again “until further notice.” The Wheels of Justice, it seems, turns ever so slowly.

One wonders why sentencing takes so long. Could it have to do with an on-going investigation assisted by cooperating witnesses?

“Half Guilty, Half Pregnant” Arnulfo Olivarez, another South Texas insurance agent, has had his sentencing postponed numerous times during the past two years. His next scheduled sentencing is August 22 in McAllen, Texas.

Published Friday, April 04, 2008 2:12 AM

Insurance agent accused of bribery

Associated Press

HARLINGEN — A Harlingen insurance agent is accused in a federal indictment of providing cash, plane tickets and condo rentals to some Edcouch-Elsa school district officials in exchange for public contracts.

Arnulfo Olivarez was named in a three-count federal indictment returned last month.

According to the indictment, the bribes were made to then-school board President Aaron Luiz Gonzalez and other district officials between 1999 and 2005 in exchange for votes on insurance contracts with the district.

Investigators said the kickbacks were valued at more than $26,000.

Olivarez, owner of Insurance Associates of the Valley, is one of three contractors indicted in connection with a similar scheme with the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school board.

Federal prosecutors say Olivarez often used illegal means to get business for the insurance companies that employed him.

Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty to extortion charges in a similar case in June 2006, was not charged in the latest case under a plea deal with prosecutors, The Monitor in McAllen reported in its Friday editions.

Olivarez faces charges of conspiracy, bribery and mail fraud in the Edcouch-Elsa and PSJA cases and has pleaded not guilty in both. If convicted on all counts, he could face 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

J.J. Ybarra, the current Edcouch-Elsa school board president, said the district now brokers its contracts directly with insurance companies.

“This activity is all from several years back,” he told the newspaper. “We had a lot of obstacles, but we just keep moving on.”