Prosecutors offer plea deal to woman accused of scamming people in western Hidalgo County – Progress Times
A woman accused of scamming people in western Hidalgo County must decide next month whether she should plead guilty – and spend 18 months in jail – or take her case to court.
Sylvia Rodriguez Flores, 49, of Mission, said she knew judges and law enforcement officials who could resolve legal issues, court records show. After bragging about her connections, Flores convinced people to pay her thousands of dollars.
The legal issues, however, have not gone away.
Following a flurry of complaints, investigators arrested Flores for theft. The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office agreed to recommend an 18-month prison sentence if she pleads guilty.
“By all indications it looks like these cases will be challenged,” lawyer Jose Antonio Solis, who represents Flores, told state district judge Marla Cuellar in a hearing Wednesday morning. “However, before making this announcement, we would like to sit down and discuss it with the public prosecutor’s office.”
Flores is charged with three counts of theft, a state prison felony. If she is found guilty at trial, she faces a maximum of two years in prison on each count.
Solis asked for more time to review the case and meet with prosecutors. Cuellar approved his request and told Solis to come back with a decision on August 16.
“This is the final argument deadline, Mr Solis,” Cuellar said. “This should give you enough time to staff this case with the district attorney’s office, as well as to negotiate, if necessary.”
District attorney Ricardo Rodriguez said prosecutors offered Flores 18 months in jail in each case. The sentences would be carried out simultaneously.
Flores is also said to be paying tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
“We had good communication with the victims,” Rodriguez said. “They have been informed of what is going on.”
In 2018, when Flores pleaded guilty to a similar theft case, a judge placed her under community surveillance for three years.
Investigators arrested Flores on new charges of theft in October 2019, November 2020 and April 2021. Flores has pleaded not guilty.
After his arrests, Flores blamed La Joya’s Reynaldo Cardenas III for the charges.
His wife claimed Flores had ripped her off in 2019. Furious at what had happened, Cardenas searched for other victims and encouraged them to file a complaint with law enforcement.
Flores believed Cardenas had a vendetta against her. Complaints about Flores, however, surfaced years before her argument with Cardenas.
In August 2017, a man contacted the Alton Police Department about Flores, according to documents released under the Texas Public Information Act.
The man said Flores claimed she “has ties to the state of Texas” and would expedite her citizenship application for $ 5,000.
He paid, but Flores never did anything, according to the report. Alton viewed the dispute as a civil matter. No charges have been laid.
“We want to end this,” Rodriguez said. “I hope that now, in time, she learns a lesson.”