Texas Attorney Convicted of Paying Bribe Money to Judge

June 19, 2012

A South Texas attorney has been convicted on charges related to bribing a judge for favorable rulings in court cases, including insurance related litigation.

United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced that Ray Roman Marchan of Brownsville, Texas, has been found guilty on all counts in the FBI’s public corruption investigation of former 404th District Court Judge Abel Corral Limas. Marchan was found guilty on seven public corruption related counts after two days of deliberation.

The jury found Marchan guilty of one count of violation of Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) as well as one count of RICO conspiracy, three counts of aiding and abetting extortion under color of official right and two counts of aiding and abetting honest services mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Marchan was indicted June 22, 2011, following a three-year investigation of corruption by then sitting judge of the 404th Judicial District Court, Abel Corral Limas.

During the two-week trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence Marchan paid bribes to Judge Limas. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the evidence proved he paid bribes or kickbacks to Judge Limas in return for favorable judicial rulings and an appointment as ad litem attorney.

An ad litem is appointed to represent the interest of any minor or disabled person in a lawsuit.

Evidence proved Marchan received favorable rulings in two cases in which he was appointed as ad litem attorney, Aide Fink vs Sun Valley Dusting and Juan Mancillas vs American General Insurance, federal prosecutors said.

To date, a total of eight defendants, including former attorneys Jim Solis and Joe Valle, former Cameron County Investigator Jaime Munivez, Limas’ middleman Manuel Longoria, Armando and Karina Pena and former bondsman Francisco Cisneros, have entered guilty pleas in relation to the Limas investigation. Limas himself entered guilty pleas to RICO public corruption-related violations and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 27, 2012.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, who presided over the Marchan trial, has set sentencing for Sept. 24, 2012, at which time he faces a maximum 20-year prison term and a possible $250,000 fine for each count of conviction. Marchan was allowed to remain on bond pending that sentencing hearing.

The charges in relation to this case are the result of an ongoing three-year investigation being conducted by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Brownsville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Wynne and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting the case.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

Topics USA Texas Legislation

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