Mon March 4, 2013
Bodybuilding Champ Turned Austin Attorney Feels Burn in Racketeering Trial (Update)
Update: Austin attorney Marc G. Rosenthal was convicted by a federal jury late last week.
A statement from the Southern District of the U.S. Attorney's Office reads in part:
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.
Rosenthal's sentencing is scheduled in June.
Original Post (1:49 p.m.): The ongoing saga of Marc G. Rosenthal continues winding its way down the rabbit hole. The Austin attorney, and former Mr. Texas bodybuilding champion, is currently on trial in Corpus Christi, accused of leading a conspiracy that turned trials in his favor.
In a federal racketeering indictment, Rosenthal racked up more than a dozen allegations, including bribery of a judge and witnesses, as well as paying witnesses to make false claims. Most of the cases in question went through the firm's Brownsville office. Rosenthal, who plead not guilty, could face up to twenty years in prison.
The case has already incriminated a state judge and state representative. Former state District Judge Abel C. Limas earlier pled guilty to taking $340,000 in bribes, and onetime state representative Jim Solis pled guilty to a single charge of aiding and abetting extortion.
The Valley Morning Star reports that Rosenthal offered Limas a golden parachute:
Limas said that months before that December, and while he was still on the bench, he and Rosenthal agreed that he would join the firm. He said Rosenthal promised him $100,000 up front, 10 percent of attorneys fees in a helicopter-injury case, another 10 percent in attorneys fees in a civil case that he had made attorney Joe Valle refer to Rosenthal, and 40 percent of attorneys fees in cases that he would refer to Rosenthal when he left the bench. Furthermore, he could have a criminal law practice.
The Rosenthal trial continues to make bizarre turns. Earlier this week Rosenthal was jailed for violating the terms of his bond, when he "bear-hugged" the state's witness, former Rep. Solis. After being released from jail, Rosenthal was placed under house arrest because U.S. attorneys feared he might flee to South America. His bond has been increased to $500,000.
Limas, the former judge, took the stand this week to testify against Rosenthal. Aside from mentioning that he now makes a living "buying and selling gold and silver," Limas explained he received a percentage of Rosenthal's attorney's fees in exchange for making favorable rulings on the case.