April 1, 2011
LOCAL MAN CHARGED WITH WIRE FRAUD INVOLVING 404TH DISTRICT COURT
(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – A San Benito resident has been arrested following the filing of a criminal complaint accusing him of wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud the state of Texas and its citizens of their right to the honest services of a state district judge performed free from deceit, favoritism, bias, self-enrichment and self-dealing, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Jose Manuel Longoria, 52, a resident alien from Mexico residing in San Benito, Texas, was arrested on Thursday, March 31, 2011, by agents of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and officers of the Brownsville Police Department (BPD) as a result of a warrant which issued following the filing of a criminal complaint under seal on March 30, 2011.
Longoria appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio who ordered the defendant to remain in custody without bond pending a preliminary examination and detention hearing set for Tuesday, April 5, 2011.
The criminal complaint, unsealed today following Longoria’s court appearance, charges Longoria with wire fraud arising from “a scheme and artifice to defraud and deprive the state of Texas of the right to the honest services of a state district judge, performed free from deceit, favoritism, bias, self-enrichment and self-dealing.” The offense is alleged to have occurred on April 24, 2008.
According to allegations in the criminal complaint, Longoria was involved in a scheme with former 404th District Judge Abel Corral Limas to allow a state probationer to report by mail rather than in person in return for payment of money. The probationer had been convicted of aggravated assault in 2006 and was under court-ordered supervision. The complaint alleges the probationer left Texas for Arkansas without authorization from the probation officer in violation of the terms of his probation. Longoria allegedly was wired $1,800 from Arkansas as part of the scheme to pay Judge Limas to enter an order authorizing the probationer to report by mail. The complaint alleges 404th court records indicate that on April 23, 2008, Limas contacted the state probation officer ordering that the probationer be permitted to report by mail.
A conviction for wire fraud carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000.00 fine, upon conviction.
The charges are the result of an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the FBI, DEA and the BPD. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Oscar Ponce and Michael Wynne are prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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