White-Collar Crime

South Texas Attorney Takes Plea in Corrupt-Judge Case

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A Texas attorney has taken a plea in a judicial corruption case.

Jose Martin “Joe” Valle, 54, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Brownsville to aiding and abetting extortion by former State District Judge Abel Limas, according to the Brownsville Herald and the San Antonio Express-News.

The case concerned a $25,000 payment Valle admittedly received to refer a wrongful death case to a law firm at which Limas planned to work when he left the bench. Federal prosecutors said he gave $3,000 of that amount to the judge.

Valle could get as much as 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in November. Limas also awaits sentencing.

As detailed in a previous ABAJournal.com post, Limas took a plea earlier this year and admitted that he accepted bribes from attorneys while on the state-court bench in exchange for favorable treatment in court cases.

Hat tip: Associated Press.

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