White-Collar Crime

Ex-Judge Pleads Guilty to False Statement; Officials Accused of Personal Profit from Court Cases

Originally charged in a two-count federal indictment with destruction of records and making a false statement, a former Texas municipal court judge pleaded guilty yesterday to the latter count.

Monica Lynn Corker now faces up to five years in prison when she is sentenced subsequently, on a date that has not yet been set, reports the Associated Press.

The former Seven Points jurist is apparently the only official who has taken a plea in an ongoing state and federal investigation of public corruption in the small Henderson County town, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

She was accused of pocketing money for court fines in exchange for dismissing cases, the newspaper says.

Authorities also say she lied to investigators when asked if she had deleted records of misdemeanor cases from the court computer, the AP reports.

The newspaper says other city officials are accused of using municipal court funds to cash checks apparently provided to them by their private business customers, possibly in an effort to avoid depositing the money into bank accounts where it would be reflected as business income.

Additionally, a local woman has claimed she was allowed to clean a city council member’s home, rather than pay a traffic fine in a municipal court case.

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