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Texas attorney convicted of scamming drug traffickers

1 year 2 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, October 30 2019 Oct 30, 2019 October 30, 2019 5:22 PM October 30, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

SHERMAN, Texas (AP) - A Texas lawyer has been convicted of corruption for scamming roughly $1.5 million from international drug traffickers.

Jamie Balagia, of Austin, was found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was also convicted of attempted violation of the Kingpin Act for accepting money from major drug traffickers.

Prosecutors say the 62-year-old Balagia, a Florida private investigator and a Colombian attorney scammed Colombian drug traffickers into paying "attorney fees" for acting as intermediaries with government officials who they said would accept bribes to dismiss criminal charges or reduce prison sentences.

There were no bribes or government officials involved.

Balagia claimed his co-defendants manipulated him.

He was convicted in Sherman, 65 miles (100 kilometers) north of Dallas

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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