BDO Puerto Rico managing partner Fernando Scherrer has resigned after being implicated in a corruption scandal over federal contracts worth $15.5m. The island’s Justice Department has accused its former education secretary, Julia Keleher, and the former executive director of its health insurance administration, Angela Avila Marrero, of awarding contracts to political connections. Fernando Scherrer was one of four others also arrested. Collectively the group faces 32 charges including money laundering.

A statement by BDO Puerto Rico, reported in the local media said: “As a result of the accusations issued today [9 July] by the federal authorities, Mr. Fernando Scherrer has submitted his resignation to the position he held at BDO Puerto Rico, which will allow Mr. Scherrer to focus on his defence, while this will allow BDO to concentrate its efforts to provide services to their customers.”

Scherrer was a co-founder of the accountancy firm Scherrer Hernandez in 2000.The firm joined the BDO network in 2012 and rebranded to BDO Puerto Rico.

The arrests follows news on 28 June from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) San Juan Field Office that it was investigating patterns of conduct concerning government corruption and fraud with respect to the contracting of goods, services, and personnel under federal bribery laws. The investigation appears to have begun thanks to information provided by whistle-blowers.