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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Thirty-nine-year-old State Rep. Ron Reynolds and eight other attorneys are facing criminal charges. All are charged with barratry or what is commonly known as “ambulance chasing,” a third degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison a $10,000 fine.
On Monday morning, several enforcement sectors simultaneously raided multiple law offices and two chiropractic clinics and arrested Reynolds and the attorneys for their involvement in an alleged kickback scheme.
Reynolds and the other attorneys are accused of paying kickbacks to Robert Valdez, the alleged leader of the operation and a convicted felon.
Additional reports state that Valdez would read accident reports, then approach those named in the reports and aggressively persuade individuals to sign contracts for legal representation.
Court records indicate that Reynolds delivered cash in envelopes to Mr. Valdez.
Authorities believe that Valdez would scour HPD’s website for victims. He would download public accident reports and refer the victims to Reynolds or another attorney. The victims would be asked to visit a doctor at two chiropractic clinics, including Greenspoint Health and Injury Center. Valdez is part owner of both clinics.
Reynolds faced similar allegations in Harris County last year, but the case was dropped after an investigator was accused of stealing evidence. The newest charges against Reynolds are unrelated to the Harris County investigation, according to reports.
Court records further indicate that Valdez was soliciting clients for Reynolds while Reynolds was still charged with barratry in Harris County. After the charge was dropped, Reynolds quickly resumed exchanging payment for clients and continued operations in the kickback scheme. It is not being revealed how much money Reynolds or the other attorneys who were arrested Monday may have made through the alleged scheme.
State Rep. Ron Reynolds sits on House committees that focus on environmental regulation, technology and economic development.