EDINBURG — Elsa Municipal Judge Hilda Caceres was sentenced Wednesday to five years of probation for faking required signatures on a $227,000 loan application.
An Hidalgo County jury took three hours Tuesday night to convict the suspended magistrate on four counts of forgery after a trial in which she maintained the charges amounted to nothing more than a personal dispute between her and a woman to whom she had sold an Elsa home.
“The jury did the right thing,” said Marion Swanberg, an Hidalgo County assistant district attorney. “Justice was done.”
Caceres, 46, could not be reached for comment after receiving her sentence, which included a $5,000 fine.
The charges against her stemmed from a loan she and her ex-husband, Elsa City Commissioner Cain Caceres, took out in September 2009 to stave off foreclosure on another property they owned.
Because the couple was already $700,000 in debt, they used an Elsa home they were in the process of selling to Elsa resident Nora Delgado as collateral.
But prosecutors alleged throughout the six-day trial that Hilda Caceres never obtained Delgado’s consent and instead forged the woman’s signature on loan paperwork.
She had an employee at the county judge’s office — where she also worked at the time — notarize the documents as if Delgado had signed them in her presence.