A Texas man who lied to the FBI by claiming that a federal bankruptcy judge solicited prostitutes was sentenced by a San Diego judge Thursday to 27 months in federal prison.
Michael Enriquez, 55, of San Antonio, was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service for claiming that the unidentified judge used an online escort service.
Prosecutors said Enriquez falsely accused the judge in order to assist an associate in an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding that the judge was presiding over.
Enriquez told the associate — referred to as “DB” by prosecutors – – that he knew the judge had solicited prostitutes. Enriquez created “a bogus paper trail” in the form of fake email records implicating the judge and sent DB those emails, knowing they “would likely be used to extort the bankruptcy judge or otherwise influence the bankruptcy proceedings,” according to court documents.
However, Enriquez and DB’s relationship later “soured,” leading Enriquez to tell the opposing parties in DB’s bankruptcy case that DB had obtained the prostitution information on the judge independently, and would use it to win the bankruptcy case against them. Enriquez did not tell them that he had fabricated the emails, prosecutors said.
They suggested that he give the information to the FBI, and afterward, Enriquez made numerous false statements to authorities between 2013 and 2016, according to prosecutors.
Before handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant said the defendant’s scheme “was a lot more sophisticated than someone who just told a lie,” and “threatens the whole judicial system.”
–City News Service
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