Judge orders Brownsville attorney to prison - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Judge orders Brownsville attorney to prison

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Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 7:30 pm

A 70-year-old Brownsville attorney has been sentenced to over a year in federal prison for failing to file a financial reporting form required while operating his law office.

Guillermo Vega Jr. appeared Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, in Houston, who ordered Vega to serve 13 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He also ordered Vega to pay a $100,000 fine and restitution to the IRS for unpaid taxes he earned while operating his legal practice.

Vega pleaded guilty to the charge May 23, 2018.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas, Vega attempted to “obstruct justice” by tampering with a witness. In handing down the sentence, the court found that Vega abused the public trust because of his special skills as an attorney.

The USAO states that on March 21, 2011, Vega received $25,000 in cash related to a single sale while operating the Law Office of Guillermo Vega Jr.

Authorities said the money was given to Vega so he could represent Heriberto Bazan on a federal charge of attempting to transport ammunition in Mexico. The USAO said Bazan failed to file the necessary paperwork for receiving that amount of money. Federal law requires a FinCEN form be filed when a business receives over $10,000 in cash.

As part of his plea agreement, Vega agreed to make a full restitution of $126,253.

Vega will remain out on bond and has agreed to surrender himself voluntarily to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined at a later date.

lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com

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