COMPILED BY MERCURY STAFF
A Texas State University professor is under siege from federal prosecutors who allege that her two houses, including one in Hays County, were bought with money laundered by a Mexican politician with supposed ties to drug cartels, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
The newspaper reports that the Internal Revenue Service filed a lawsuit this week in a San Antonio federal court that seeks forfeiture of two houses owned by Sindy Chapa, 37, an assistant journalism professor and associate director of the Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets.
The affidavit that outlines the federal government’s alleged case against Chapa is sealed. However, the newspaper cites sources who say Chapa is the ex-girlfriend of Tomás Yarrington Ruvalcaba, a former Mexican mayor and governor accused by U.S. authorities of taking millions of dollars in bribes from drug cartels. U.S. prosecutors think Yarrington bought the houses with laundered money.
Chapa owns a home in Kyle’s Plum Creek neighborhood valued at $272,910 and one in McAllen appraised at $357,441, the newspaper reports. She has not been accused of a crime.
The newspaper quotes Yarrington’s attorney, Joel Androphy of Houston, as saying his client left the country earlier this year after his immigration status has expired. Yarrington has been mayor of Matamoras and governor of Tamaulipas, a Mexican state that borders Texas.
“It’s illogical you would allow someone to leave the country when they are under criminal investigation. The timing of the government’s request that he leave the country and the timing of the allegations suggest they have no support,” Androphy told the Express-News.
This story was first published by the San Marcos Mercury, and reprinted here through a partnership between the Hays Free Press and San Marcos Mercury.