White-Collar Crime

Ex-Judge Takes Plea in RICO Case, Admits Role in Alleged $235K-Plus Court Bribery Scheme

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A former Texas judge pleaded guilty yesterday to unspecified charges in a federal racketeering indictment, admitting that he took bribes from attorneys and others during his eight years in office in exchange for favorable treatment in court cases.

Abel Corral Limas, who is presently in private practice in Brownsville, was accused in a 17-page indictment of violating the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by operating the 404th Judicial Court as an income-producing enterprise, according to the Associated Press and the San Antonio Express-News.

Four unidentified attorneys and a middleman, who are named as persons A through E in the document but not themselves indicted, allegedly were involved in the claimed scheme. It isn’t clear what their status presently is in the case. Together, the two lawyers allegedly paid the judge about $235,000 in bribes, according to the Express-News.

Limas reportedly charged fees such as $1,500 to permit those on probation to report by mail, instead of in person, and $700 to change bond terms.

He was released on $50,000 unsecured bond after his guilty plea and is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Ex-Judge Is Indicted in Federal Racketeering Case, Accused of Profiting from His Work as a Jurist”

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