White-Collar Crime

Federal Jury Convicts South Texas Lawyer in Racketeering Case re Judicial Bribes

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The government scored a resounding victory in the first case to go to trial concerning a South Texas judge who admittedly took bribes from lawyers.

Ray R. Marchan was found guilty Monday by a federal jury in Brownsville on all seven counts in a racketeering and extortion case concerning former state District Judge Abel C. Limas, reports the Brownsville Herald. Marchan, who is in his mid fifties, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years on each count when he is sentenced in September.

Limas earlier pleaded guilty to racketeering and was a star witness at Marchan’s trial, implicating others, including attorneys, in addition to the defendant, who was accused of paying the then-judge a little over $11,000 in bribes. Limas, who the government says received a total of around $250,000 in payments from numerous individuals while still on the bench, has not yet been sentenced, and a federal investigation of others related to his conduct is still ongoing.

Prosecutors asked that Marchan be taken into custody after the verdict, contending that he is a flight risk and pointing out that his 21-year-old Russian wife is visiting family in her home country, according to the Associated Press. However, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen allowed Marchan to remain free on $100,000 unsecured bond and suggested that he focus on winding up his law practice.

The judge also said that Marchan, who has been the subject of police reports concerning alleged domestic violence, can’t have any women stay in his home except for his daughter.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Feds Say Defendant Lawyer Paid Texas Judge for Ad-Litem Work, Favorable Ruling on Sanctions Motion”

ABAJournal.com: “Convicted Ex-Judge Says Texas Lawyer Paid Him for Court-Appointed Work”

ABAJournal.com: “DA Gave Me Money, Too, Ex-Judge Testifies at Another Lawyer’s Federal Racketeering Trial”

ABAJournal.com: “DA Running for Congress Is Indicted; Feds Say He Ran His Office as a Criminal RICO Enterprise”

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