December 2, 2023
Andrea and Jesus Cardenas. Photographs from Fb and LinkedIn pages

Chula Vista Metropolis Council member Andrea Cardenas and her brother, Jesus Cardenas, pleaded not responsible Thursday to legal fees stemming from an allegedly fraudulent federal mortgage.

The siblings are accused of fraudulently acquiring a $176,227 Paycheck Safety Program mortgage in early 2021 supposed for his or her political consulting agency, Grassroots Assets, then utilizing the funds on private bills.

These bills allegedly included a $33,500 verify to Andrea Cardenas’ Chula Vista Metropolis Council marketing campaign account.

The Cardenas siblings are accused of creating a number of misrepresentations to be able to safe the mortgage, together with that they have been utilizing the funds to assist 34 workers, when in actuality these workers labored for a marijuana dispensary that was a Grassroots consumer.

Jesus Cardenas, 40, who served as chief of employees for San Diego Metropolis Council member Stephen Whitburn till earlier this 12 months, faces as much as 4 years and 4 months in jail.

Andrea Cardenas, 31, faces as much as 5 years and eight months if convicted of all fees, which embrace conspiracy to commit against the law, cash laundering, conspiracy to defraud, grand theft and failing to file tax returns.

The siblings have been allowed to stay out of custody on their very own recognizance. They’re due again in courtroom in early January.

Whereas some Chula Vista leaders have referred to as for her resignation, Andrea Cardenas stays on the Metropolis Council.

Her protection legal professional, Pedro Bernal, advised reporters after Thursday afternoon’s arraignment that his consumer “doesn’t plan to step down. She plans on combating these fees.”

Bernal continued, “She’s represented her constituents for a very long time and he or she’s served her group for a few years. And he or she plans on persevering with to try this.”

In an announcement issued earlier this week, Cardenas stated she hopes “to be given a chance by the media, people in political circles, and, most significantly, my constituents to defend myself.”

– Metropolis Information Service