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Prominent Clinton/Castro Backer Indicted By Federal Government

- October 23, 2015

This Week “Democratic Mega-Donor” Mikal Watts Was Indicted By A Federal Grand Jury

This Week, San Antonio Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Mikal Watts Was Indicted By A Federal Grand Jury For Filing False Claims And Identity Theft In Relation To The 2010 BP Oil Spill. “By that point, Watts already had a federal investigation hanging over his head. Nine months earlier, the Secret Service had raided two of his law offices, digging for evidence that Watts filed false claims and committed identity theft in relation to the 2010 BP oil-spill case. This week, San Antonio Express-News Staff Writer Guillermo Contreras broke the news that Watts, 48, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Mississippi over his handling of BP litigation. … In his drive to be the Michael Jordan of personal-injury lawyers, Watts has made some Machiavellian moves.” (Gilbert Garcia, “Indicted Lawyer Has Altered The Lives Of Many Key Democrats,” San Antonio Express-News, 10/22/15)

Watts Was Described By The San Antonio Express-News As A “Democratic Mega-Donor.” “Mikal C. Watts, the embattled San Antonio plaintiffs' attorney and Democratic mega-donor, has put his Dominion mansion up for sale.” (Patrick Danner, “Watts Selling Dominion Estate,” San Antonio Express-News, 5/22/14)

Watts Held A Fundraiser On Behalf Of “Ready For Hillary” In 2013 That Raised More Than $100,000

In November 2013 Watts Hosted A Fundraiser At His Law Office For “Ready For Hillary” That Raised Over $100,000. “South Texas Democrats packed the downtown law office of über-donor Mikal Watts for a Hillary Clinton presidential fundraiser Wednesday night, three years before the next president is elected, and at least a year before 2016 contenders start officially announcing their candidacies.” (Gilbert Garcia, “Pro-Clinton PAC Raises More Than $100,000 In S.A.,” San Antonio Express-News, 11/7/13)

NOTE: The “Ready For Hillary” Fundraiser Held By Watts Was Nine Months After The Secret Service Raided Two Of His Law Offices For Evidence Relating To The BP Oil Spill. “On Nov. 6, 2013, Mikal Watts was in a familiar position. He was the center of the local Democratic Party’s solar system. As the host of a fundraiser for a pro-Hillary Clinton political action committee, the deep-pocketed personal-injury attorney sat on a table in his downtown law office and held court, surrounded by a who’s-who of prominent San Antonio Democrats: Leticia Van de Putte, Carlos Uresti, Nelson Wolff, Joe Farias, Ruth Jones McClendon, etc. By that point, Watts already had a federal investigation hanging over his head. Nine months earlier, the Secret Service had raided two of his law offices, digging for evidence that Watts filed false claims and committed identity theft in relation to the 2010 BP oil-spill case.” (Gilbert Garcia, “Indicted Lawyer Has Altered The Lives Of Many Key Democrats,” San Antonio Express-News, 10/22/15)

Prominent Clinton Backer Julian Castro Received A Suspect “Referral Fee” From Watts

On October 15, 2015 Julian Castro Endorsed Clinton For President. “Julián Castro endorsed Hillary Clinton on Thursday. The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the second Obama Cabinet official to endorse Clinton — even as Vice President Biden is still considering getting in the race.” (Tamara Keith and Domenico Montanaro, “HUD Secretary Julián Castro Endorses Hillary Clinton,” NPR, 10/15/15)

In 2007 Castro Received A “Seven-Figure ‘Referral Fee’” For Sending A Personal Injury Client To A Larger Firm Run By Mikal Watts, Who Later Settled With An Oilfield Services Company. “But the seed money for Castro's time in the mayor's office -- he was first elected in 2009 -- was a controversial seven-figure "referral fee" that Castro, a Harvard-educated lawyer, received from a well-connected trial lawyer and Democratic donor in a personal injury lawsuit in which Castro may or may not have played a major role. The case stemmed from a 2006 drunk driving accident in which three people were killed. … One of the victims, a man who lost his mother, wife, and son in the crash, knew Castro and chose Castro's small firm to represent him in a suit against the oilfield services company. Castro then referred the case to a much larger firm, headed by Mikal Watts, a prominent personal injury lawyer and Democratic contributor. Watts won the case, and a big award, and Castro was paid a seven-figure ‘referral fee’ for bringing the suit to Watts' firm.” (Byron York, “If Chosen For HUD, Julian Castro's Work, Big Payday Could Face Scrutiny,” Washington Examiner, 5/18/14)

Castro Loaned $200,000 To His 2009 Campaign For San Antonio Mayor “From A Fee He Received For Referring A Case To Trial Lawyer Mikal Watts, A Prominent Democratic Fundraiser.” “His current campaign, in some respects, is geared toward undoing that impression. It's a professional effort, one headed by Christian Archer, Hardberger's former campaign manager. Castro loaned his campaign $200,000 last summer - which came from a fee he received for referring a case to trial lawyer Mikal Watts, a prominent Democratic fundraiser.” (Greg Jefferson, “What Makes Castro Run? It Depends Who Is Asked,” San Antonio Express-News, 3/22/09)


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