Morales sentenced

Former Texas Attorney General Dan Morales has been sentenced to four years in Club Fed for the mail fraud and tax evasion charges to which he pled guilty in July.

The mail fraud charge stems from Morales’ lawsuit against U.S. tobacco companies, claiming they owed Texas reimbursement for smoking-related health care. The lawsuit ended with the companies agreeing to pay $17.3 billion to the state.

When it came time to pay the lawyers their fees, which reached $3.3 billion, Morales added his friend Marc Murr to the attorney list and tried to get him 3 percent of the settlement. The other lawyers protested that Murr, a Houston lawyer, did little to nothing on the case.

Morales later admitted to back-dating a contract to make it look as if Murr had done more work than he had. It was a federal crime because he shipped the contract across state lines to the California arbitrators appointed to decide how to divide the legal fees.

Murr, who later declined payment, pleaded guilty earlier this month to mail fraud. Prosecutors recommended six months imprisonment, five years on probation and a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Morales’ tax evasion charge comes from $420,000 he took from his campaign account for “personal use” — money that he didn’t report to the IRS.

Via Burnt Orange.

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