White-Collar Crime

Lawyer gets 10 years in double-billing case

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A Texas lawyer accused of double-billing Bexar County for indigent defense work and forging judges’ signatures on payment vouchers has been sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty in March to forgery and securing execution of a document by deception.

Hilda Valadez, 52, who was once the most prolific court-appointed defense lawyer in the county, had originally faced 46 felony counts. Her sentence could be commuted to probation within the next six months by Judge Stephen Ables, who retained jurisdiction for 180 days following Monday’s sentencing. He is presiding in the Valadez case as a visiting jurist, reports the San Antonio Express-News (sub. req.).

KSAT and an earlier Express-News (sub. req.) story provide additional details.

Valadez was reportedly paid almost $600,000 between 2008 and 2011.

The state supreme court accepted (PDF) her resignation from law practice earlier this year.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Trial delayed for lawyer accused of double-billing Texas county, forging judge’s signatures”

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