Trial begins for last attorney in "cash for court favors" scandal

Eduardo "Eddie" Lucio maintains his innocence.

An Austin-based attorney is hoping a Corpus Christi jury will clear his name.

Accused of racketeering and several other corruption-related crimes, Lucio is the last of 12 defendants in connection to the Cameron County cash for court favors scandal.

Federal prosecutors alleged Lucio used his connections and bribes to make tens of thousands of dollars.

Lucio is not related to the state senator or his son the state representative.

But federal prosecutors allege his ex-law partner, former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos, arranged a lucrative lawsuit before former 404th State District Court Judge Abel Limas.

Under the alleged deal, Lucio paid Villalobos $80,000 dollars for that lawsuit referral.

A federal grand jury in Brownsville indicted both Lucio and Villalobos back in May 2012.

U.S. District Court Judge Hanen split their cases in January 2013 at Lucio TMs request.

Villalobos went to trial in May of this year and lost.

The former district attorney is awaiting sentencing and has filed an appeal but Judge Hanen granted Lucio a change of venue to Corpus Christ due to widespread publicity surrounding the case.

A jury was just seated early this afternoon with prosecutors and defense attorney giving their opening arguments.

Lucio's racketeering trial is expected to continue first thing on Wednesday morning with the testimony of former Judge Limas.

Action 4 News will be in the courtroom and providing LIVE updates at @SergioChapa on the social media network Twitter.