Attorney representing former IES finance director seeks more time to prepare for case

Feb. 13—An attorney representing the former finance director for IES or International Education Services indicted on an embezzlement charge is requesting he get more time to prepare for the complex case.

Juan Jose Gonzalez, the former finance director, along with Ruben Gallegos Jr., the former CEO, and Ruben Gallegos Sr., the former president of IES, face theft and embezzlement charges they are accused of committing during the time they worked with and operated IES.

According to a federal motion filed Feb. 10, Gonzalez's attorney states he is not ready to proceed with this matter and that at an earlier court date, "the matter was certified as complex by order of this court."

The motion also reads, "This continuance is not sought for delay but only so that justice may be done."

Similar requests were also made Feb. 8 by attorneys representing Gallegos Jr. and Gallegos Sr. as they continue to receive "discovery" from the federal government and "discovery in this matter is voluminous."

Discovery is the process where both sides exchange information that will be used in the case.

Although in the motions for the Gallegos', a jury selection date has been mentioned — it is scheduled for May 8 — no jury selection date is mentioned in the motion for continuance filed on behalf of Gonzalez, court documents reflect.

The motion filed on behalf of Gonzalez reads "attorney for Juan Jose Gonzalez, respectfully requests that the court grant this motion and extend sentencing for at least 60 days."

The trio were indicted on the charges in August 2022.

Count one of the indictment charges them with conspiracy. Count two charges them with theft concerning programs receiving federal funds

Among the charges and according to a portion of the indictment, Gallegos Jr. was paid salaries way over the $183,000 cap limit with his 2017 salary at $435,416.88.

The indictment also states Gallegos Sr. was paid $506,032.22 and Gonzalez $377,060.96 — also in violation of the salary caps — but their names are redacted in the document.

The IES contracted with the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program and provided temporary shelter care and other related services to unaccompanied alien children, according to the federal indictment.

IES received almost all of its funding in the form of federal grants, and for each fiscal year from 2014 through 2018, it received millions of dollars in federal grant funds.

Gallegos Jr. served as CEO of IES from 2014 to 2018, Gallegos Sr. as president, and Gonzalez as finance director until the federal government decided it would not renew its funding for the IES shelter.

The United States Congress prohibited use of grant funds to pay salaries above a certain rate. In addition, federal regulations further limited spending of grant funds.

If found guilty on count one of the indictment, each man faces five years in federal prison, and/or a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release. If found guilty on count two of the indictment, they face up to 10 years in federal prison, and or a $250,000 fine plus three years supervised release.

All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are out on bond.