Major Democrat Moneyman Under Indictment In Texas For Pretending To Be A Lawyer

by Rob Port | January 5, 2008 10:57 am

Is it Hsu all over again for the Democrats?

AUSTIN (AP) – Authorities raided the offices of an influential Democratic donor on Friday, prompting accusations by the donor’s attorneys that the raid was politically motivated.

The state attorney general’s office said it was assisting the Nueces County district attorney in the criminal investigation of Mauricio Celis, 36, who has given money to major Democratic candidates including Hillary Clinton and is the subject of numerous ongoing lawsuits and charges.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, sued Celis in November, accusing him of practicing law without a license. Agents from Abbott’s office were among those involved in the Friday search of Celis’ Corpus Christi office.

“What is becoming abundantly clear is that we’re looking at a political vendetta by an openly ambitious Republican politician in Austin who wants to score points by persecuting a prominent Democrat in South Texas,” said Tony Canales, an attorney for Celis.

Actually, what is abundantly clear is that Mr. Celis has apparently been trying to practice law in the state of Texas with a Mexican law license.

Celis has a controlling interest in the CGT Law Group of Corpus Christi. Texas law prohibits anyone from owning a controlling interest in a law firm unless he is a licensed lawyer. While Celis is not licensed to practice law in Texas, he has argued that he can legally practice law in Mexico.

Texas ain’t Mexico, buddy.

According to a quick search at the FEC, Celis has personally given about $108,000 to various Democrat campaigns and committees since 2004. Here’s a (rather large) screen capture of his contributions from the FEC website since I can’t link to it directly. You’ll note with particular interest the $2,300 contribution to Hillary and the $28,500 contribution to the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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