Jury finds Democratic state Sen. Carlos Uresti guilty of 11 felo - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Jury finds Democratic state Sen. Carlos Uresti guilty of 11 felonies, including fraud

(Source: Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune) (Source: Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune)

SAN ANTONIO— State Sen. Carlos Uresti was found guilty Thursday of 11 felonies, opening up the possibility of years in federal prison and millions in fines, and throwing into question his future as a Texas legislator.

The San Antonio Democrat was charged with 11 felony counts, including fraud and money laundering. The room was silent Thursday morning as the courtroom deputy read “guilty” verdict after “guilty” verdict. Uresti sat motionless and expressionless, his gaze directed at the courtroom deputy reading the verdict.

The judge will determine Uresti's penalty in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines. A hearing is tentatively set for June 25.

Felons are ineligible to serve in the Texas Legislature, but Uresti could retain his seat while he appeals the verdict. He's not up for re-election until 2020. 

The charges stemmed from Uresti’s association with FourWinds Logistics, a now-bankrupt oilfield services company that perpetrated a Ponzi scheme against its investors. Uresti served as general counsel for FourWinds and owned 1 percent of the company's shares. He also earned commission for recruiting investors, according to court documents.

Several of the company’s leaders pleaded guilty to fraud charges before Uresti’s case even went to trial, some of them in plea agreements to testify for the government. Prosecutors argued that Uresti had used his prestigious reputation to lend credibility to an unknown company; several investors testified that Uresti’s presence reassured them that their money would be safe with FourWinds. But Uresti’s lawyers countered that the lawmaker was never aware of, or involved in, the company’s shady dealings.

Uresti is also set for trial in May on separate felony charges of bribery and money laundering. It's unclear how Thursday's verdict will affect that schedule.  

The senator has also drawn criticism over allegations of sexual harassment at the state Legislature — charges he has denied.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/02/22/carlos-uresti-guilty-felony-fraud-trial/.

Texas Tribune mission statement

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Police 'arrest' 93-year-old woman to celebrate birthday

    Police 'arrest' 93-year-old woman to celebrate birthday

    Sunday, August 19 2018 5:58 AM EDT2018-08-19 09:58:16 GMT
    The "Cops"-loving woman got to explore the patrol car, both front and back, and set off the sirens, according to her daughter. (Source: Pixabay, File)The "Cops"-loving woman got to explore the patrol car, both front and back, and set off the sirens, according to her daughter. (Source: Pixabay, File)

    The "Cops"-loving woman got to explore the patrol car, both front and back, and set off the sirens, according to her daughter.

    More >>

    The "Cops"-loving woman got to explore the patrol car, both front and back, and set off the sirens, according to her daughter.

    More >>
  • Italy's leader demands safe roads; bridge toll rises to 43

    Italy's leader demands safe roads; bridge toll rises to 43

    Saturday, August 18 2018 4:10 AM EDT2018-08-18 08:10:33 GMT
    Sunday, August 19 2018 4:27 AM EDT2018-08-19 08:27:00 GMT
    (Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP). Firefighters remove debris of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Italian authorities have lowered the death to 38 from 39 in the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa. Genoa Prefec...(Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP). Firefighters remove debris of the collapsed Morandi highway bridge in Genoa, Italy, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Italian authorities have lowered the death to 38 from 39 in the collapse of a highway bridge in Genoa. Genoa Prefec...

    Italian media say three more bodies have been found in the rubble of the Genoa bridge collapse, raising the death toll to 41.

    More >>

    Italian media say three more bodies have been found in the rubble of the Genoa bridge collapse, raising the death toll to 41.

    More >>
  • Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dies at age 80

    Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan dies at age 80

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:00 AM EDT2018-08-18 10:00:29 GMT
    Sunday, August 19 2018 4:26 AM EDT2018-08-19 08:26:41 GMT
    Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    Kofi Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died.

    More >>

    Kofi Annan, one of the world's most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the United Nations who rose through its ranks to become the first black African secretary-general, has died.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly