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South Texas DA who is running for Congress charged with racketeering, extortion, fraud
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) ' A South Texas prosecutor running for U.S. Congress is accused of taking more than $100,000 in bribes and kickbacks to minimize charges and agree to settlements favorable to defendants.
Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos is charged with racketeering, extortion and honest services fraud. A private attorney, Eduardo Lucio, faces similar charges.
The two men were indicted Monday in Brownsville, which is on the U.S.-Mexico border. In one case, the indictment alleges Villalobos had Lucio sue a murder defendant for wrongful death, collect $200,000 in the suit and then pay $80,000 to Villalobos.
Villalobos acknowledged earlier Monday that he was involved in a federal investigation involving former state District Judge Abel Limas, who has pleaded guilty to racketeering.
A federal magistrate judge set bond at $50,000 for both men.