Three Members of Garza Family and their Company Represented by Roach & Newton Are Exonerated in Hidalgo County Levee-Border Wall Corruption Case

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The current and former owners of a small family data collection firm accused of corruption and conspiring to defraud the taxpayers of Hidalgo County out of millions of dollars during the reconstruction of 22 miles of levees with new border fencing along the Rio Grande River have been exonerated.

Just days after the sitting visiting judge in the case (Hidalgo County District Court, Hidalgo County Texas, 275th Judicial District, CAUSE NO. C-0373-17-E) was reported by McAllen’s The Monitor on February 1 to have remarked in open court that he “wrestled to find enough smoke to suggest that there is a fire some place”, the final claim remaining against Annie Garza, current owner of Valley Data, and her two sons, Jonathan and Godfrey Garza III, the company’s former owners, was dismissed.

The dismissal was brought by attorneys for the county against the Garzas and the company under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), alleging bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering. It was filed just last week as visiting Judge Martin Chiuminatto was ruling in favor of motions for summary judgment in the remainder of the case, said the Garza’s attorney, John Newton of the Houston-based law firm Roach & Newton and as reported in The Monitor on January 31st.

The District filed suit in January 2017, alleging $5.3 million of illegitimate revenue gained by breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, conspiracy, unjust enrichment and constructive trust against the Garzas and the company. Annie Garza’s husband, Godfrey Garza, Jr. and his company, Iteg Corporation, also were named in the suit.

The county attorney and its then-commissioners openly negotiated a contract with Garza, Jr. to receive 1.5 percent of every construction dollar spent by the drainage district of which he was manager, according to a four-year investigation and court records. The levee-fence in Hidalgo County cost $174 million and was part of a federally-funded project to build 654 miles of barriers between the U.S. and Mexico a decade ago.


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John Newton
Roach & Newton
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