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      Early prison release for attorney convicted in Abel Limas scandal

      A Harlingen attorney convicted in the Abel Limas cash for court favors scandal has been released from federal prison almost a month early.

      U.S. Bureau of Prisons records show that Jose Joe Valle was released from a federal prison in Bastrop on March 14th.

      Valle was sentenced to a year in federal prison back in April 2012.

      But federal court records show U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen ordered the early release.

      According to the March 13th order, Judge Hanen shortened the sentence by about a month under Federal Rule 35(b).

      Among the , the rule allows for lower sentences in cases where the suspect testifies in another case.

      Neither defense attorneys nor prosecutors have publicly stated whey Valle was released early.

      But Valle TMs name is mentioned in court records in criminal cases filed against former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos and Austin-based attorney Eduardo Lucio.

      Valle also made headlines back in February when the IRS went after $173,000 dollars in back taxes while he was in prison.