This afternoon local attorney Hilda Valadez, age 51, entered a plea of guilty to charges arising from a scheme to submit inflated and forged court appointed Attorney Fee Expense Claim Forms, referred to as vouchers, submitted for payment of court appointed attorneys fee claims. Valadez was once identified as the attorney receiving the most money in court appointed attorneys fees that are paid to represent indigent defendants. The case is the result of a joint DA’s Office and Bexar County Sheriff’s Office investigation that began in October of 2011 when District Court staff discovered inconsistencies on two vouchers allegedly submitted by Valadez. A Grand Jury later indicted Valadez on 46 counts ranging from theft, forgery, to securing execution of a document by deception.
After jury selection had begun in her case, Valadez decided to enter her guilty plea and entered into a plea agreement in which she pled guilty to one count each of Securing Execution of a Document by Deception $100,000-$200,000 and Forgery. Under the terms of her agreement, she is facing up to ten (10) years in prison with the State opposing her application for probation and requesting prison time. She will also pay $80,000 in restitution. As part of her plea agreement, Valadez offered to debrief to the District Attorney and continue to provide information to Federal authorities concerning her knowledge of alleged courthouse corruption.
Securing Execution of a Document by Deception is a Second Degree Felony carrying a range of punishment of not less than two years and not more than twenty years. Forgery is a Third Degree Felony punishable by not less than two years and not more than 10 years.
For more information, please contact Trey Banack, Chief of the White Collar Crime Division at 335-2404