Prosecutors also state that Ramos used drug trafficking money to pay Sanchez and Villalobos, and Ramos would testify that Villalobos knew Ramos was involved in drug trafficking while Ramos was employed by the District Attorney's Office.
"State officials in Austin objected to the effort to expunge Ramos' conviction, and the effort eventually failed," federal prosecutors state.
The prosecutors further noted that Ramos would testify that Villalobos told him they both could make money by referring civil and criminal cases to Lucio.
Dilia Lopez case
The government alleges that Villalobos, already district attorney, referred a 2005 civil case involving his sister-in-law's death to the law firm of Cowen & Bodden. The case was settled for a substantial amount in April 2006. According to prosecutors, Villalobos received a referral fee in two checks, one for $60,000 and the other for $96,000.
The $60,000 check was made payable to attorney Michael Trejo, who was not involved with the case, but funneled the money to Villalobos, the court record states.
"No comment," Trejo said Monday.
Attorney Michael Cowen declined to comment while attorney Conrad Bodden, who now practices with former Brownsville Mayor Eddie Trevino, did not respond to a request for comment.
The $96,000 check was made payable to Camp Street Enterprises, an entity Villalobos created, to receive the money.
"Villalobos funneled the money through Camp Street Enterprises and another entity he created, VPH Investment Trust, steadily transferring money from those accounts to his personal account," the court record states.
According to the court record, the referral fee violated state law, and Villalobos did not report the referral fee on his federal income tax returns, federal prosecutors state.
Federal prosecutors allege that Villalobos ordered investigator Lopez to arrange to have the criminal case filed against former-DA Yolanda de Leon in Limas' court. Prosecutors say that this was tied to civil litigation commonly referred to as the defamation/invasion of privacy case filed by Austin attorney Marc G. Rosenthal.
A federal jury in Corpus Christi found Rosenthal guilty of 13 counts of corruption-related offenses in February.
Prosecutors noted that Villalobos filed criminal charges against De Leon violating his oath and abusing his office to provide a potential monetary benefit to certain civil litigation attorneys with whom he was associated and allowing them to gain leverage in the civil case.
De Leon declined to comment Monday. Lopez also declined comment.
Prosecutors further allege that Villalobos improperly used his power to obtain state grand jury subpoenas. The government alleges that after Limas pleaded guilty to racketeering, and when it was evident that Villalobos was likely to be indicted, Villalobos, for his own private interest, had state grand jury subpoenas issued in February 2012 for the telephone records of Limas, Lucio and for former First Assistant DA Chuck Mattingly in connection with the controversial Amit Livingston case.
It also is alleged that Villalobos allowed a conviction to be overturned based on false and misleading information and a redacted copy of a police videotape on behalf of defendant George Alvarez who had pleaded guilty to assault on an officer.
Overturning the conviction enabled Lucio to file a civil lawsuit against the city of Brownsville seeking damages of more than $4 million. The lawsuit is pending.
Federal prosecutors also allege that Villalobos and his then-office manager Michelle Garcia proposed supplementing DA's office employee Jenny Camacho's salary to offset the difference between the rent Camacho was seeking for an apartment that Villalobos wanted to rent from her when he separated from his wife.
Prosecutors state that Camacho refused.
Attempts to locate Garcia and Camacho for comment were unsuccessful.
A hearing is likely to be scheduled in the near future to determine if presiding U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen will admit the additional evidence.
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