West Texan Sentenced for Embezzling Federal Funds

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The former director of a West Texas nonprofit organization has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiring to embezzle federal funds.

A judge also fined Cirilo Lara Madrid $100,000 in the harshest sentence yet in a corruption case involving El Paso public officials and local businessmen.

A federal jury in El Paso had found the former Aliviane (ah-lee-vee-AH'-neh) chief executive guilty in December of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to embezzle and theft of federal program funds.

Evidence presented at trial showed Madrid and others payed $24,000 in bribes to El Paso County Judge Dolores Briones for her help with a 5-year, $9 million contract to evaluate a health program for mentally disturbed children. Madrid submitted fraudulent reports to reflect the project was meeting its goals.