Federal Jury Convicts Austin Attorney Marc G. Rosenthal in Connection with South Texas Bribery Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2013|
In Corpus Christi, a federal jury convicted 51–year-old Austin attorney Marc Garrett Rosenthal of federal charges related to a bribery scheme in South Texas, 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; and Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia.
After a four-week trial, 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.
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 referrals of plaintiffs’ 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 Racketeer 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.
Rosenthal faces up to 20 years in federal prison per count at sentencing scheduled for June 3, 2013, 8:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville. The United States is also seeking the forfeiture of approximately $5.95 million from Rosenthal in relation to the criminal case.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Brownsville Police Department. Southern District of Texas Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Wynne and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.