White-Collar Crime

Texas Lawyer Who Was a 'Lesser Player' in Judicial Corruption Case Gets 1 Year in Federal Prison


A Texas lawyer whose defense attorney described him as a “lesser player” in a judicial corruption case had sought probation.

But a federal judge in Brownsville on Monday gave Jose Martin “Joe” Valle a prison term of one year and a day. Although U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen took no pleasure in doing so, he said he had to hold the 54-year-old accountable in a scheme to put justice up for sale, reports the Brownsville Herald.

The former 404th state district judge targeted in the case, Abel C. Limas, awaits sentencing in June after pleading guilty last year to racketeering, reports the Associated Press.

The government said Valle accepted a $25,000 payment for referring a wrongful death case to a law firm at which Limas then planned to work after leaving the bench. He allegedly paid $3,000 of that amount to the judge.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “South Texas Attorney Takes Plea in Corrupt-Judge Case”

ABAJournal.com: “Ex-Judge Takes Plea in RICO Case, Admits Role in Alleged $235K-Plus Court Bribery Scheme”

ABAJournal.com: “Stanford Law Grad Is Federally Indicted, Allegedly Paid Texas Judge $11K in Bribes”

ABAJournal.com: “Another Attorney Charged in RICO Case, Accused of Paying Texas Judge for Rulings”

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