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Ex-Judge To Be Sentenced For Turning Courtroom Into Money-Making Scheme

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File photo of a judge's gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a judge’s gavel. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A disgraced former South Texas judge who pleaded guilty to racketeering for turning his courtroom into a money-making operation is to be sentenced.

Ex-state District Judge Abel Limas (LEE’-muhs) entered a guilty plea in 2011 and went on to testify in four federal trials of others charged in the wide-ranging enterprise at the courtroom in Brownsville on the Mexico border.

Limas faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison but is expected to get less Wednesday in recognition of his cooperation.

Limas attracted the FBI’s attention in late 2007 as he was nearing the end of his second term in office.

Investigators collected some 40,000 phone calls, as well as surveillance photos documenting how Limas had converted his courtroom into a criminal enterprise collecting bribes and kickbacks totaling $257,000.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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