An Arlington man gets two years probation for trying to help bribe a federal judge

Posted Friday, Jul. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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An Arlington man was sentenced to two years probation and fined $10,000 on Friday after he pleaded guilty in April to trying to help bribe a federal judge.

Shani Shehu, 42, an Arlington restaurant owner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice by attempting to influence a federal judge, according to the news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

From early February-to-mid-May 2012, Shehu conspired with Halid Amer, 42, formerly of Grand Prairie, to unlawfully obtain a probated sentence for Amer by paying cash through an intermediary to a federal judge.

Amer pleaded guilty in January 2012 to his role in a mortgage fraud conspiracy and was awaiting sentencing by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis in Dallas. Shehu arranged for Amer to meet with a man from Arlington, who turned out to be Arlington City Councilman Robert Rivera. The councilman posed as someone who could help Amer contact someone who knew Solis.

At a meeting weeks later, Amer told a Rivera that he was willing to pay a cash bribe to Solis in return for a probated sentence. Rivera told law enforcement of Amer’s plans, and the FBI arranged for an undercover agent called Gil in court documents to meet with Shehu and Amer.

Amer told a judge that he had sought out Rivera as a community leader to write a positive letter on his behalf to Solis, who, like Rivera, is Hispanic.

Amer is currently serving three years and five months in federal prison in Memphis on the mortgage fraud conviction.

Amer eventually pleaded guilty on an obstruction of justice charge for which he received a one year and three month sentence, to be served simultaneously as the mortgage fraud conviction, documents show.

This story includes material from the Star-Telegram archives

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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