Bad Lawyers

“DWI Dude” Lawyer Charged with Money Laundering
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Jamie Balagia

Summary: A lawyer known for taking on cases clients with drunk driving and marijuana charges was arrested for stealing money from clients.

The notorious San Antonio lawyer known for his defense of clients with drunk driving and marijuana charges found himself on the wrong side of the law. Jamie Balagia, commonly referred to as “DWI Dude” or “420 Dude,” was charged by the FBI with conspiracy to commit money laundering and obstruction of justice for his role in a scheme that took $1.2 million from Colombian clients.

  
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Balagia, a former Austin police officer who ran for Texas Attorney General just three years ago was arrested in McKinney, near Dallas. He is being held without bond until his next hearing on Thursday.

This is not the 56-year-old’s first time being in trouble. His position to defend clients in federal court was jeopardized when the State Bar’s disciplinary board sued him for misconduct two years ago. Allegations surfaced that he kept $50,000 from a pair of clients in Amarillo.

Balagia allegedly took part in a scheme with an investigator and South American lawyer where they attempted to extort $2 million from clients by claiming that the money would be used to bride officials in their drug cases. Officials state that no judges or prosecutors were bribed.

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Balagia’s website, dwidude.com, provides information for people that find themselves with a drunk driving offense or want to prepare themselves for the time when they might be pulled over for drunk driving.

Do you think Balagia should be allowed to practice law anymore? Tell us in the comments below.



To learn more about attorneys with a rap for money laundering, read these articles:

Photo: beaumontenterprise.com



 

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