by Monica Galozo, ABS-CBN News
VIRGINIA — The Filipino community in Virginia Beach is in disbelief, as ex-Virginia delegate Ron Villanueva, accused of defrauding the federal government, plans to plead guilty in a plea hearing scheduled for March 19th.
Prosecutors allege Villanueva used his position to help two companies to fraudulently receive a total of over $80 million in government contracts. He was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, falsification of records and aiding with false written statements, to which he previously pleaded not guilty in January.
Villanueva was arrested and released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
“I don’t want to be judging but my only reaction is I’d say he’s innocent until proven guilty. If he admitted it, what else can I say. He is still a fellow Filipino. He needs to regroup and start all over. If you did something wrong, you will be caught. The truth will set you free.”
But despite the charges, Villanueva’s supporters continue to stand behind him.
A GoFundme campaign was even established by Villanueva’s supporters, to help him with the high cost of legal representation.
Villanueva served as a Republican Delegate for Virginia’s 21st District from 2010-2018.
BA attempted to contact Villanueva for comment, but did not get a response.