A key witness in the fraud case against state Sen. Carlos Uresti had sex with the indicted lawmaker and received lewd text messages from him, according to an FBI interview.
Federal prosecutors said Uresti, D-San Antonio, used his “special relationship” of trust with Denise Cantu to convince her to make a $900,000 investment in FourWinds Logistics. Uresti represented the oil field services company, which later went bankrupt.
Uresti, 54, previously has denied having a sexual relationship with the 38-year-old Cantu and denied any wrongdoing with FourWinds.
Attorneys for Uresti — who faces 11 felony charges, including wire and securities fraud, conspiracy, and acting as an unregistered securities broker — called Cantu a “demonstrated liar.”
In January 2016, Cantu denied having sex with Uresti and FourWinds CEO Stan Bates “because she feared her children would find out and was both ashamed an embarrassed,” according to FBI records provided by Uresti’s lawyers.
FBI transcripts cited by the San Antonio Express-News show Cantu told investigators her relationship with Uresti became intimate during a court case involving the deaths of two of her children.
Uresti represented the Harlingen woman in the wrongful-death case. Cantu later invested $900,000, the bulk of the settlement of the lawsuit, with FourWinds on Uresti’s recommendation. He collected a $27,000 commission on the investment.
Cantu recalled Uresti telling her, “Damn, you look really sexy today” when they were in an elevator on the day she gave a deposition.
Cantu told the FBI Uresti later sent her a picture of his genitals that he took in a bathroom stall while shopping at a Dillard’s with his new wife, the FBI records stated.
“During one of Cantu’s visits to Uresti’s law firm to meet with Uresti about FourWinds Logistics, she was pulled into a restroom by Uresti where she performed oral sex on him,” the FBI transcript said.
The two reportedly continued to exchange “sexual texts and photos with each other, off and on for the past few years.”
The San Antonio Express-News noted some discrepancies in the timeline. One of the FBI reports said the physical relationship didn’t start until after the wrongful-death case was settled, which would have been in 2012 or later. But another FBI record shows Cantu said the two had intercourse in 2011. She invested in FourWinds in 2014.
While denying that his client had sex with Cantu, Uresti attorney Tab Turner said even if there was a sexual relationship, it was “not a method of asserting control.” He also noted that State Bar of Texas rules do not forbid a lawyer from sleeping with a client.