SAN ANTONIO — Amid allegations of two-timing sex with a prosecution witness and revelations of salacious texts, one of the co-defendants in a criminal fraud case wants his trial separated from state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio.
Stan Bates, CEO of FourWinds Logistics, allegedly had sex with Denise Cantu, a company investor. Prosecutors also allege that Uresti had sex with the Harlingen woman, and “exploited” the relationship to convince her to buy into the now-defunct oil field services firm. Uresti denies having an affair with Cantu.
Uresti represented Cantu in a wrongful-death case involving two of her children. She invested $900,000 from a settlement of the case with FourWinds and lost about $800,000. Separately, she is suing Uresti for fraud.
Uresti, Bates, and FourWinds consultant Gary Cain have heretofore shared a joint defense. But assistant public defender Angela Saad Lindsey told U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra last week that Uresti and Cain are shifting responsibility to Bates.
“He is not going to get a fair trial,” Lindsey said of Bates.
Uresti, Bates, and Cain were indicted in May by a federal grand jury on 22 felony counts in connection with their involvement in FourWinds, which prosecutors call a Ponzi scheme.
Lawyers for the government, Uresti, and Cain disagreed that the defenses are antagonistic and would result in Bates suffering prejudice from a joint trial, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Ezra initially said there was no justification for trying Bates separately, but gave his attorneys until Wednesday to file for a separate trial. The judge said recent reports about steamy sexts among Uresti, Bates, and Cantu would not be a basis for granting Bates a separate trial.
Meantime, Ezra ordered a two-week delay in the trial, granting a request by Bates’ lawyers.
Jury selection is now scheduled to begin Jan. 18. Assistant public defender Kurt May requested the delay, citing the death of a defense lawyer’s father.
Kenric Ward can be reached at [email protected].