Local businessman indicted on theft charges

The brother of a man accused of participating in illegal voting during the 2017 mayoral election faces a serious felony charge of theft, court records show.

Juan Carlos Carranza, 36, faces a first-degree felony charge of theft of more than $300,000 from several people, by allegedly withholding money from them, according to an indictment filed Sept. 12. He was arrested July 1, in connection with the charge, records show.

Beginning in December 2017, through about the first day of January of this year, Carranza allegedly unlawfully “appropriate(d), by acquiring or otherwise exercising control over property,” specifically by withholding more than $300,000 from seven persons, the indictment stated.

Carranza is the manager of CWIA Investments LLC, an investment company based in Edinburg.

Carranza runs the business with brother Julio Cesar Carranza, who was recently indicted in connection with the Texas Attorney General’s office investigation into the 2017 election and allegations of illegal voting.

According to the indictment for Julio Carranza, Juan Carranza’s address — 3411 Bluestone St. in Edinburg, which is tied to CWIA Investments — and the address Juan Carranza used to vote was used by at least one co-defendant in the separate voter fraud case.

Julio Carranza who is listed in public records as one of the members of CWIA Investments, has denied his ties with Juan Carranza’s business.

In addition to the most recent accusation of theft of more than $300,000, Juan Carranza has two other unrelated but similar cases, one theft of property case, in which he is accused of stealing nearly 40 pallets of carpet grass, and another case of theft of service, for allegedly securing sale contracts valued at more than $2,500 but less than $30,000, but not paying the person who secured the aforementioned contracts.

Julio Carranza, 33, was indicted in July and formally arraigned on two counts of illegal voting and one count of engaging in organized election fraud.

He is a business partner of Richard Molina, the current mayor of Edinburg, and was a board member of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

Julio is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing in late November, court records show.

Juan Carranza is due in court Sept. 23, for hearings related to the aforementioned theft cases, court notes show.

If convicted of the first degree felony, Juan Carranza faces up to life in prison.