Feds Allege Rigging of $140M Cleaning Deals
Three San Antonio businessmen, including two “Rey Feos,” are currently under investigation.
Federal investigators have accused three San Antonio businessmen of using bribes to secure janitorial and housekeeping contracts totaling US$140 million for U.S. military health care facilities, according to the San Antonio Express-News in an article on MSN.com.
Two of the men—Kenneth “Ken” Flores and his father, Antonio “Tony” Flores Jr.—are former “Rey Feos,” a ceremonial title bestowed by The Rey Feo Consejo Educational Foundation. The Rey Feo, or Ugly King, achieves the reign by raising at least $250,000 for scholarships for the foundation and then appears as official royalty, complete with regalia and crown, at the annual Fiesta® San Antonio celebration. The third person under investigation for his alleged participation is one of Ken’s brothers, Chris Flores.
While not directly named in court documents, the San Antonio Express-News identified the Floreses through other public records, archives obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, and law enforcement sources. The men have not yet been charged nor arrested, but in 2020, federal investigators raided their businesses and homes in connection with the case.
According to Express-News, the Floreses own two San Antonio-based businesses, Allegiance Environmental Services and Helpful Hands Inc., which are under contract to provide cleaning services to U.S. Army hospitals along the Pacific Northwest coast and in Hawaii.
In court documents, investigators allege that the trio won the contracts illegally, by bribing two former civilian government employees, Karisa Waysepappy Kelley and John Jordan “Chip” Mathes, to eliminate competition while bidding for the contracts. Both Kelley and Mathes were formally responsible for housekeeping and other environmental services at Army health care facilities. The amounts of the bribes were not disclosed.
Kelley and Mathes are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud but have struck plea deals with the prosecution to avoid the case going to a grand jury. Their first day in court is scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2023.