Uresti found guilty on all counts in fraud trial; Lt. Gov strips him of committee assignments

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Carlos Uresti
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas state Sen. Carlos Uresti was found guilty on all charges in a San Antonio federal court Thursday.

The Democratic senator’s woes began last year when he was charged for his involvement with FourWinds Logistics, a now-bankrupt oilfield services company notorious for executing a Ponzi scheme with investors.

Uresti served as general counsel for FourWinds, owned one percent of the company and — according to court documents — earned commission for recruiting investors. Uresti’s case has garnered considerable media attention over the past few months due to his public profile and alleged manipulation of mistress, Denise Cantu, who put $900,000 in FourWinds at Uresti’s behest and lost almost all of it.

It took jurors approximately 11 hours to reach the verdict over a three-day period. When receiving the news, those at the trial said Uresti remained stoic and composed. Uresti’s co-defendant, Gary Cain was also found found guilty on all 9 counts against him. Both of them will remain free on bond until sentencing on June 25.

Per the San Antonio Express, Uresti’s charges are as follows:  

  • 5 counts of wire fraud
  • 1 count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud
  • 1 count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments
  • 1 count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity
  • 2 counts of securities fraud
  • 1 count of unregistered securities broker

Each count of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud carry up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Conspiracy to money launder carries a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Securities fraud and the count of unregistered securities broker carry 20 years and $5 million each. Finally, all of these counts are punishable with up to three years of federal supervision.

Uresti said he plans to appeal the conviction and was surprised by the outcome.

“This is a shock to all of us,” he said, according to KSAT. “This is not the verdict we were expecting. So, I’m going to meet with my family and my wife and my attorneys, and we’ll make those decisions down the road.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced after the the conviction that he would be stripping Uresti of committee assignments so that their work could continue unimpeded, according to the Quorum Report.

Senator Uresti’s time in court is far from over. He has another upcoming trial in May for separate charges of money laundering and bribery and has also denied recent allegations of sexual misconduct.

UPDATE
At 7PM Feb. 22, The Austin American-Statesman reported the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus is calling upon Sen. Uresti to resign his position.

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