Indictment against Austin attorney unsealed in Abel Limas case

Marc Rosenthal / File Photo

An Austin-based attorney has become the ninth person to be charged in a public corruption case involving former 404th State District Judge Abel Limas.

A 13-count federal indictment filed against Marc Garrett Rosenthal was unsealed on Monday.

The 19-page indictment was filed by a federal grand jury in Brownsville on Tuesday, August 16th.

Rosenthal appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Felix Recio in Brownsville on Monday.

Judge Recio issued a $100,000 dollar bond for Rosenthal.

Court records show Rosenthal pleaded not guilty to the charges and must post ten percent of the bond within 24 hours.


Rosenthal is accused of engaging in a bribery scheme with former Judge Limas from November 2005 to December 2009.

The Austin attorney is accused of paying former Judge Limas for favorable court rulings but prosecutors say it didn't end there.

Prosecutors allege that Rosenthal and others paid funeral directors and public employees for referrals to his law firm.

He's also accused of manipulating the Cameron County District Clerk's Office to get cases assigned in favorable courts.

The 19-page indictment mentions two specific court cases.

One of the cases is 2007 lawsuit filed against the Union Pacific Railroad Company while the other was a 2008 lawsuit filed against a company that owns Valley AirCare.

The court records make reference to another co-conspirator who has not yet been indicted or charged in the case.

Defense Attorney

Rosenthal TMs defense attorney Ernesto Gamez spoke to Action 4 News about the case.

The Brownsville-based attorney said Rosenthal was disappointed with the charges and maintains his innocence.

He TMs hurt and disappointed, Gamez said about Rosenthal. He TMs been nothing but an asset to this community.

Gamez noted that Rosenthal has been charged separately from the others in the case.

He looks forward to clearing his name, Gamez said.

Gamez assured that the 10 percent deposit for his client will be deposited by Tuesday morning.

He TMs not a risk of flight and he TMs not a danger to the community, Gamez said.


Court records show that Rosenthal was born and raised in Houston but graduated from college at Southwest Texas State University and law school from South Texas College of Law.

The records show that Rosenthal TMs law firm Rosenthal & Watson has numerous cases pending throughout Texas.

A motion filed by defense attorneys shows that Rosenthal has donated a combined total of thousands of dollars to:

Brownsville Police Officers Association (BPOA) Brownsville Convention & Visitors Bureau Cameron County Children TM Advocacy Center Friendship of Women SafePlace Austin ASPCA World Wildlife Fund DIF Tamaulipas Various Little League Teams American Cancer Society Komen Race For the Cure

The records show that Rosenthal married his college sweetheart Sharon in 1989 but she died in June 2010.

Rosenthal remarried in April but separated with his new wife seven weeks later.

Abel Limas Case Suspects

Suspect Role Charged Guilty Plea Sentencing Abel Limas Judge March 29th March 31st October 3rd Jose Manuel Longoria Middleman March 30th N/A N/A Jose Santiago Solis Attorney April 29th April 29th October 12th Ray Roman Marchan Attorney June 21st N/A N/A Francisco Cisneros Bondsman June 21st August 8th November 14th Armando Pea Probationer June 21st July 19th October 24th Karina Pea Wife June 21st July 26th October 31st Joe Valle Attorney August 10th August 10th November 14th Marc Rosenthal Attorney August 16th N/A N/A


Rosenthal & Watson stands fully behind Marc Rosenthal and his innocence of these charges. We are proud of his work with the firm and he TMs helped hundreds of people get justice in our courts by following the rules for his entire career. The admissions of wrongdoing from the judge and others are disheartening. But we were not aware of their improper activities. We expect to see Marc vindicated. It is business as usual at Rosenthal & Watson and we have no plans to do anything but fully and zealously represent our clients, both our existing clients and the new ones who TMve hired us in the last few months. Marc and the rest of the lawyers and staff at Rosenthal & Watson will continue to do all we can, full-time and with full force to represent those injured and seeking justice. As in the past, Lynn will continue to handle the bulk of the firm administrative duties.