Cash-for-Clients Scheme Lands Ex-Court Clerk and Lawyer in Prison

A former federal court clerk and a New York lawyer who together operated a long-running cash-for-clients bribery scheme were sentenced to prison on Monday, prosecutors said.

The former clerk, Dionisio Figueroa, 66, of Manhattan, was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted at trial in December of conspiracy, bribery and other charges, according to prosecutors and court filings. He was also ordered to forfeit $40,000, prosecutors said.

The lawyer, Telesforo Del Valle Jr., pleaded guilty to conspiracy, bribery and other charges in November, court filings show. Mr. Del Valle, 65, of Leonia, N.J., was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $10,000, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors had sought sentences of about four years for Mr. Figueroa and about three years for Mr. Del Valle, court records show.

The men’s scheme ran from 2011 to 2022 and involved at least 45 criminal defendants in the Southern District of New York, where Mr. Figueroa worked in the magistrate clerk’s office, according to court records.

His duties included preparing bonds for defendants that allowed for their release from custody pending trial; advising defendants and their family members about the conditions that applied to such bonds; and ensuring the bonds were signed by all parties before a defendant was released, prosecutors said.

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