Former Texas State Judge in Federal Judicial Corruption Case Sentenced to Prison
Attorney who Bribed Former State Court Judge also Sentenced to Prison
ALBUQUERQUE – A former Texas state district court judge in Bexar County, Texas, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio, Texas, for his conviction on an honest services wire fraud charge. Angus Kelly McGinty, 51, will serve a 24-month term of incarceration followed by a year of supervised release.
Alberto Acevedo, Jr., 61, a San Antonio attorney, who was convicted of bribing McGinty in exchange for favorable judicial rulings that benefited Acevedo and his clients, also was sentenced this afternoon. Noting that Acevedo provided substantial assistance to the United States in its investigation and prosecution of McGinty, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Acevedo to a year and a day in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
“Fairness and impartiality are the cornerstones of our judicial system, and judges are expected to protect the public’s trust in the system. Those who fail to do so will be held accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez. “We cannot and will not allow the public’s faith in our legal system to be shaken by judicial corruption.”
“Judge Angus McGinty is just one more name on a long list of public officials who have come to realize how committed the FBI is to investigating public corruption,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher H. Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.
McGinty initially was charged with conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, federal programs bribery, extortion under color of official right, and honest services wire fraud in an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in June 2014. In Feb. 2015, a five-count superseding indictment was filed charging McGinty with conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud, three counts of honest services wire fraud, and extortion under color of official right. At the time of the events underlying the charges in the indictments, McGinty was a state district court judge in the criminal division of the 144th Judicial District Court in Bexar County, Texas. According to the superseding indictment, between Jan. 2013 and Sept. 2013, McGinty solicited and accepted bribes from Acevedo, an attorney who appeared before him, in exchange for favorable rulings for Acevedo’s clients. McGinty resigned from the bench on Feb. 14, 2014.
According to court documents, from Jan. 2013 through Sept. 2013, McGinty solicited and accepted bribes from Acevedo in exchange for favorable judicial rulings that benefited Acevedo and his clients. Acevedo’s bribes to McGinty included cash, car repairs, arranging the sale of McGinty’s vehicle, and registering a vehicle purchased by McGinty. In exchange, McGinty provided the favorable judicial rulings requested by Acevedo, including lenient sentences and less restrictive conditions of release for Acevedo’s clients. According to the indictments, McGinty received gifts, payments and other things of value totaling more than $6,655.00 from Acevedo.
McGinty pled guilty on April 13, 2015, to an honest services wire fraud charge and admitted depriving the State of Texas and citizens of Bexar County of his honest services by soliciting and accepting bribes intended to influence his judicial decisions.
Acevedo pled guilty on March 17, 2014, to a felony information charging him with bribery involving a program receiving federal funds. In entering his guilty plea, Acevedo admitted that he corruptly influenced McGinty by giving him things of value in exchange for favorable judicial rulings that benefitted him and his clients.
U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez praised the investigative work of the San Antonio Division of the FBI. The prosecution of this case in federal court in San Antonio, Texas, was handled by Special Attorneys Mark A. Saltman and Brock E. Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas was recused.