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Any Claims of a Corrupt Texas Judiciary and the Fifth Circuit Attempts to Protect via Curt and Dismissive Order(s). Let’s Remind Them of the Facts

The Fifth Circuit has dismissed complaints per the lower court findings (S.D. Houston, Texas) as fantastical and frivilous. This post is a reminder of some of the reasons why corruption is human nature and the Judiciary are not above the law. In other words their opinions are clearly erroneous and just affirmed in a dismissive nature to attempt to undermine the true facts.

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, DENNIS, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM:*

Candace Louis Curtis and Rik Wayne Munson sued more than fifteen individuals – the judges, attorneys, court officials, and parties from a probate proceeding in Harris County – alleging that the defendants collectively violated RICO, committed common law fraud, and breached their fiduciary duties.

The district court dismissed all claims based on a number of often overlapping grounds:

(1) judicial immunity,

(2) attorney immunity,

(3) failure to state a claim, and

(4) the court’s inherent power to dismiss frivolous complaints.

We review de novo a district court’s dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6). Chhim v. Univ. of Tex. at Austin, 836 F.3d 467, 469 (5th Cir. 2016).

Plaintiffs’ appeal focuses on the dismissal of their RICO claim. They set forth the elements of that offense and attempt to address each one.

But the factual allegations they use to support those elements are mostly, as the district court put it, “fantastical” and often nonsensical. We agree with the district court that the allegations are frivolous and certainly do not rise to the level of plausibility that the law requires.

AFFIRMED.

Texas Judge Arrested and Charged With Bribery

JUDGE ‘RUDY’

ON THE TAKE

A Texas state district court judge has been arrested on allegations he accepted approximately $6,000 in cash bribes, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI San Antonio Division.

Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, 64, of Edinburg, Texas, is currently the presiding judge for the 93rd District Court for the State of Texas and has jurisdiction over Texas criminal and civil cases located within Hidalgo County. He was charged in a criminal complaint with bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Authorities took Delgado into custody on Friday. He made his initial appearance earlier today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Hacker, at which time he was permitted release upon posting $100,000 bond.

The criminal complaint alleges Delgado accepted bribes from an attorney in exchange for favorable judicial consideration on criminal cases pending in his courtroom. Delgado allegedly accepted bribes on three separate occasions in exchange for Delgado agreeing to release three clients on bond with cases pending before his court. The first two bribes allegedly totaled approximately $520 in cash. The third bribe occurred in January 2018, at which time Delgado accepted approximately $5,500 in cash, according to the charges.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Trial Attorneys Peter Nothstein and Todd Gee of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie N. Searle and Robert Guerra of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Two Former Commissioners and a Corrupt Attorney Criminally Charged

McALLEN, Texas – Three Texas men, including a former Weslaco City Commissioner and a former Hidalgo County Commissioner, were arrested today on charges of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick made the announcement along with Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI San Antonio Office and Acting Special Agent in Charge Sarah Kull of the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Houston Field office.

Criminal complaints were filed today in the Southern District of Texas against former Weslaco City Commissioner John Cuellar, 56, of Weslaco, and former Hidalgo County Commissioner Arturo Cuellar Jr., 65, of Hidalgo County. They are charged with conspiring to bribe a Weslaco City Commissioner in exchange for official actions favorable to three engineering companies and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Daniel Garcia, 40, an attorney based in Rio Grande City, was also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the complaint, starting in approximately March 2008, Cuellar agreed to accept bribes from three engineering companies that were funneled through Cuellar Jr. and others. Cuellar and another Weslaco City Commissioner would then allegedly take actions favorable to the three companies in relation to contracts to rehabilitate and rebuild Weslaco’s water treatment facilities.

According to the complaint, from approximately April 2008 through December 2015, Lopez received approximately $3.7 million from two engineering companies and shared approximately $1,398,000 with Cuellar Jr.

The complaint further alleges Cuellar Jr. used a company he controlled to pay Cuellar approximately $405,000 disguised as legitimate legal expenses. In exchange for these payments, Cuellar allegedly took several official actions to benefit the three construction companies, including the award of a $38.5 million contract to rehabilitate Weslaco’s water treatment plant.

The complaint further alleges Lopez and Cuellar Jr. enlisted Garcia, an attorney, to launder approximately $90,000 in bribe payments to Cuellar through Garcia’s interest on lawyers trust account.

FBI and IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez is prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorneys Peter M. Nothstein and Jessica C. Harvey of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. 

Former Texas Representative “Jim” Solis Gets 47 Months In Prison For Limas Extortion Scheme

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Former Texas representative Jose Santiago “Jim” Solis has been ordered to prison following his conviction of aiding and abetting the extortion by former state district judge Abel Corral Limas, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Solis pleaded guilty April 29, 2011.

Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Solis a total sentence of 47 months in federal prison. At the hearing, additional testimony was presented including the impact suffered by victims as well as Solis’ family and friends. Judge Hanen took into consideration the testimony of witnesses before pronouncing the sentence and stated Solis “betrayed the public trust and violated the oath to uphold the laws.” Solis was further ordered to pay restitution of approximately $119,000 and will serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison sentence.  An additional amount of $250,000 was ordered forfeited as proceeds derived from the offense.

Solis, 47, a life-long resident of Harlingen, has practiced law in south Texas for many years, focusing primarily in personal injury cases. Solis served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 38, for seven terms – retiring from the Legislature in 2007.

At the time of his guilty plea, Solis admitted his part in former Judge Limas’ use of the office of judge of the 404th District Court as a criminal enterprise to enrich himself and others, including Solis, through extortion. Limas accepted money and other consideration from attorneys in civil cases pending in his court, including Solis, in return for favorable pre-trial rulings in certain cases, including a case involving a helicopter crash at South Padre Island in February 2008. Solis specifically admitted to paying Limas $8,000 in May 2008, a payment they described as eight “golf balls,” for favorable rulings.

Evidence also showed Solis participated in a series of meetings with attorney Marc Garrett Rosenthal and Limas in the summer of 2008 during which they planned and negotiated the terms of Limas’ employment as an “of counsel” attorney with the firm.  During those meetings, Rosenthal promised Limas an advance of at least $100,000 as well as a percentage of attorneys’ fees earned in the helicopter crash case. Limas’ employment arrangements were confirmed in calls on Aug. 28, 2008, between Limas and his wife and son. The intercepted calls indicated Limas was expecting to be “cut in” on 10% of the settlement/judgment of the helicopter crash case pending in his court and the $100,000 advance. On Dec. 31, 2008, Limas received a check for $50,000 payable from the Rosenthal & Watson Law Firm. On Jan. 2, 2009, Limas received a check for $50,000 from Solis.

In October 2009, the helicopter case settled for approximately $14 million and Limas received approximately $85,000 from the Rosenthal & Watson Law Firm approximately two months later.

To date, a total of eight defendants have entered guilty pleas to related violations in the FBI’s four-year public corruption investigation, including Limas, former state district judge of the 404th District Court; local attorney Jose “Joe” Valle; former Cameron County District Attorney’s Office investigator Jaime Munivez; Jose Manuel “Meme” Longoria; Armando Pena and his wife, Karina. Three others – attorneys Ray Roman Marchan, Marc Garrett Rosenthal and former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos were found guilty of public corruption-related charges involving their association with Limas after separate jury trials. Marchan was previously sentenced to 42 months imprisonment which was vacated upon his death. Rosenthal and Villalobos will be sentenced Sept. 23 and Oct. 15, 2013, respectively.

Solis was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation has been conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Brownsville Police Department. Southern District of Texas Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) Michael Wynne and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting this case. The cases against Villalobos, Rosenthal and Lucio are being prosecuted under the direction of the Western District of Texas by AUSAs Wynne and Greg Surovic.

Former Judge Abel Limas Gets 72 Months In Prison For Taking Bribes

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Former 404th State District Judge Abel Corral Limas has been ordered to prison following his conviction for racketeering, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Limas pleaded guilty March 31, 2011.

Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Limas a total sentence of 72 months in federal prison.

At the hearing, additional testimony was presented concerning the impact suffered by victims with one victim testifying there was “outrage and shock at the magnitude of the corruption.”

Limas admitted to the court that his conduct was “not a mistake, it was intentional” and he had destroyed the public’s view of the local judiciary.

Limas was further ordered to pay restitution of approximately $6,777,270.50 and will serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison sentence. An additional amount of $257,300 was ordered forfeited as proceeds derived from the offense.

“It critical to our court system that justice is administered fairly and without any undue influence,” said Magidson.

“This case and the sentencing today serves as a reminder that this behavior will not be tolerated in the Southern District of Texas. We will continue our efforts against public corruption and will pursue prosecution in these matters when identified to us by our partner law enforcement agencies.”

Limas, 57, a life-long resident of Brownsville, practiced criminal and family law in south Texas during the late ‘80s and the ‘90s before assuming the judgeship of the 404th District in 2000.

Limas served as judge for eight years – retiring in December 2008. Thereafter, he was associated with the law firm of Rosenthal & Watson, an Austin firm, as “of counsel.”

At the time of his guilty plea, Limas admitted his part in use of the office of judge of the 404th District Court as a criminal enterprise to enrich himself and others through extortion.

Limas accepted money and other consideration from attorneys in civil cases pending in his court in return for favorable pre-trial rulings in certain cases, including a case involving a helicopter crash at South Padre Island in February 2008.

Limas specifically admitted to receiving $8,000 in May 2008, a payment described as eight “golf balls,” for favorable rulings.

Evidence also showed Limas participated in a series of meetings with attorneys Marc Garrett Rosenthal and Jim Solis in the summer of 2008 during which they planned and negotiated the terms of Limas’ employment as an “of counsel” attorney with the firm.

During those meetings, Rosenthal promised Limas an advance of at least $100,000 as well as a percentage of attorneys’ fees earned in the helicopter crash case in return for favorable rulings on the case. Limas’ employment arrangements were confirmed in calls on Aug. 28, 2008, between Limas and his wife and son.

Limas was expecting to be “cut in” on 10% of the settlement/judgment of the helicopter crash case pending in his court and the $100,000 advance.

On Dec. 31, 2008, Limas received a check for $50,000 payable from the Rosenthal & Watson Law Firm. On Jan. 2, 2009, Limas received a check for $50,000 from Solis.

In October 2009, the helicopter case settled for approximately $14 million and Limas received approximately $85,000 from the Rosenthal & Watson Law Firm approximately two months later.

To date, a total of eight defendants have entered guilty pleas to related violations in the FBI’s four-year public corruption investigation, including Jose Santiago “Jim” Solis, former Texas State Representative; local attorney Jose “Joe” Valle; former Cameron County District Attorney’s Office investigator Jaime Munivez; Jose Manuel “Meme” Longoria; Armando Pena and his wife, Karina.

Three others – attorneys Ray Roman Marchan, Marc Garrett Rosenthal and former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos were found guilty of public corruption-related charges involving their association with Limas after separate jury trials.

Marchan was previously sentenced to 42 months imprisonment, which was vacated upon his death. Solis was sentenced Aug. 2, 2013, to 47 months, while Rosenthal and Villalobos will be sentenced Sept. 23 and Oct. 15, 2013, respectively.

Limas was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation has been conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Brownsville Police Departmentand Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Southern District of Texas Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) Michael Wynne and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting this case.

The cases against Villalobos and Rosenthal are being prosecuted under the direction of the Western District of Texas by AUSAs Wynne and Greg Surovic.

Former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos Sentenced To Federal Prison In Connection With South Texas Bribery Scheme

In Brownsville today, former Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for his role in a South Texas bribery and extortion scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered that Villalobos pay $339,000 in restitution, pay a $30,000 fine, and be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.

Judge Hanen also ordered that Villalobos be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service following today’s sentencing hearing.

“The most important component of an effective justice system is the public’s ability to trust those who are responsible for enforcing the law.  But even when there is a breach of that trust, as in this case, the public should take some comfort in knowing that there is a mechanism for detecting, rooting out and punishing those who would corrupt the process,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.

In May 2013, a federal jury convicted Villalobos of one count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, one count of conspiracy to violate the RICO Act and five counts of extortion.  Jurors acquitted Villalobos of two counts of extortion.

This afternoon, Judge Hanen granted the defendant’s motion for acquittal on an extortion count (count 3) before sentencing Villalobos to 156 months incarceration on each of the six remaining charges all to run concurrent.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that from October 2, 2006, through May 3, 2012, Villalobos and others were involved in a scheme to illegally generate income for themselves and others through a pattern of bribery and extortion, favoritism, improper influence, personal self-enrichment, self-dealing, concealment and conflict of interest.

Jurors found that Villalobos solicited and accepted over $100,000 in bribes and kickbacks in the form of cash and campaign contributions in return for favorable acts of prosecutorial discretion, including minimizing charging decisions, pretrial diversion agreements, agreements on probationary matters and case dismissals.

Furthermore, Villalobos solicited and arranged for private counsel to handle civil and forfeiture matters associated with criminal matters pending in the Office of the District and County Attorney of Cameron County.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Brownsville Police Department.

Former Southern District of Texas Assistant United States Attorney Michael Wynne and current Western District of Texas Assistant United States Attorney Greg Surovic prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Austin Attorney Marc G. Rosenthal Sentenced To Federal Prison In Connection With South Texas Bribery Scheme

In Brownsville last night, United States District Judge Andrew Hanen sentenced 51–year-old Austin attorney Marc Garrett Rosenthal to 20 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $13,288,984.00 restitution for his role in a South Texas bribery scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez, San Antonio Division, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Javier Pena, Houston Field Division, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent In Charge Bernard Butler and Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez.

In February, jurors convicted Rosenthal of conspiring to bribe a State District Judge, bribe witnesses in both state and federal court cases, file fraudulent personal injury cases in both state and federal courts and deprive the citizens of Cameron County, Texas, of the right to honest services of an elected official.

“Marc Rosenthal and the public officials with whom he conspired not only betrayed their professional ethical obligations but actively sought to corrupt the very legal processes that were designed to do justice,”

stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.

“Sadly, innumerable honorable acts performed by honest lawyers and public officials are undone in the eyes of the public when the Marc Rosenthals of our profession violate the public trust for personal gain.”

Evidence presented at trial revealed that from November 2005 until December 2009, Rosenthal and others, including 404th Judicial District Court Judge Abel Corral Limas and former state legislator and attorney Jose Santiago “Jim” Solis, participated in a scheme in which Rosenthal directly, or facilitated by Solis, paid money and other considerations to Limas which resulted in favorable court rulings for Rosenthal & Watson clients.

The evidence also revealed that Rosenthal directed others to pay certain individuals, including funeral home directors and a public employee, for the referral of plaintiff’s personal injury cases; make arrangements to manipulate the random case assignment system at the Cameron County District Clerk’s Office so that cases were filed in Courts preferred by Rosenthal & Watson; and, pay witnesses to provide false testimony and statements.

Rosenthal was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute; five counts of mail fraud; three counts of tampering with witnesses or proceedings; one count of extortion; and, three counts of mail fraud, aiding and abetting and deprivation of honest services.  At sentencing, Judge Hanen set aside two of the counts of conviction, both mail fraud counts.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI, DEA, IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Brownsville Police Department.  Former Southern District of Texas Assistant United States Attorney Michael Wynne and Southern District of Texas Assistant United States Attorney Oscar Ponce prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

Disgraced Attorney Marc Rosenthal may lose assets; lawsuits on hold

CORPUS CHRISTI — Senior U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle temporarily halted a products liability lawsuit that Austin attorney Marc G. Rosenthal and others filed in federal court as the fallout from his conviction begins.

Furthermore, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will attempt to seize $5.95 million from Rosenthal, although the extent of his assets could not be gauged from a review of the public record.

A jury on Thursday found Rosenthal guilty of 13 felony counts of corruption-related offenses.

Shortly after, Tagle on Thursday stayed for 30 days the federal civil lawsuit that Rosenthal filed in federal court in Brownsville on behalf of Minerva Garcia, Hormandin Garcia and Pedro Saldivar against L.G. Electronics Inc., et al on April 1, 2011. The plaintiffs allege that a defective air conditioner unit sparked a fire that resulted in the death of the Garcia’s 13-year-old son in July 2009.

Tagle noted in her order entered Thursday that the plaintiffs designated Rosenthal as their attorney-in-charge. She noted that a jury returned a guilty verdict on a 13-count indictment charging Rosenthal with felony violations of federal law.

“Rule 2 of this Court’s Rules of Discipline provides in part that, ‘[a] lawyer convicted of a felony shall immediately cease practicing before this court pending further action by the court,’” Tagle wrote in her order.

Tagle added that in light of this, she was staying the case and ordered the parties to confer and file a joint status report within 30 days. She also ordered plaintiffs’ attorneys other than Rosenthal to provide a copy of the order to their clients and certify that they have done so within seven days.

The jury’s verdict also reflects that it found Rosenthal’s law firm, Rosenthal & Watson of Austin, to be a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act enterprise.

Rosenthal also faces the possible forfeiture of at least $5.95 million that federal prosecutors maintain were directly or indirectly derived from his racketeering activity. The public record, however, does not reflect the extent of his assets.

It is known that he indicated not to even have $10,000 as his mother Lynda Rogers of Houston was the one who posted the 10 percent deposit required of the initial $100,000 bond that was set in 2011, at the time of his arrest in August.

His mother again was the one who posted the $500,000 cash bond required to bail him out last month after U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen set a higher bond after jailing Rosenthal for a few days after he violated the conditions of his pretrial release.

Southern District Florida Courts; A Haven for Bribery, Corruption and Impeachment Proceedings against Sitting Federal Judges

It’s no surprise, Texas and Florida lead the way when it comes to the handful of impeachments against Federal Judges, as archived in the history of the United States of America.

As Aileen Cannon Replaces Lyin’ Florida Judge Kenneth Marra, Sen. Feinstein Calls For End of Judicial Confirmations

The process of selecting judges is archaic and the legislation needs to change so the people elect qualified and honest judges to these lifetime judicial appointments.

So Many Lies Chief Judge William H. Pryor, 11th Circuit

George W. Bush-appointed Chief Judge William Pryor delivered the contentious 6-4 ruling. He was joined by several other judges who were appointed by President Donald Trump.

Any Claims of a Corrupt Texas Judiciary and the Fifth Circuit Attempts to Protect via Curt and Dismissive Order(s). Let’s Remind Them of the Facts
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Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

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