Uresti fraud trial: From X-rated testimony to money talk

Government star witness Denise Cantu testifies for second day

SAN ANTONIO – Government star witness Denise Cantu returned to the witness stand Friday in the federal fraud trial of state Sen. Carlos Uresti and co-defendant Gary Cain.

Cantu's testimony Friday was G-rated, for the most part, compared to what she said on the witness stand Thursday, when she talked about a sexual relationship she said she had with the longtime Democratic lawmaker from San Antonio.

She also told the court about explicit text messages she said she exchanged with Uresti.

Cantu on Friday admitted that she also had a sexual relationship with Fourwinds CEO Stan Bates, who has pleaded guilty in the case.

Uresti's lawyer, Michael McCrum, on Friday didn't challenge Cantu's sex claims, and instead tried to show that Uresti wanted to shield Cantu from rushing into any investments in the failed fracking sand company that's at the center of the case.

While the prosecution for the past two weeks portrayed Uresti as someone with money troubles looking to cash in on Cantu, Uresti's defense team has spent several hours showing that it was Bates who repeatedly pressured Cantu to invest $900,000 and pushed her to put in even more money after the initial investment.

Federal records show that all but $100,000 of Cantu's investment, which prosecutors described as Ponzi scheme, was later lost.

Uresti and Cain face a combined 20 felony counts, ranging from money laundering to securities fraud, related to their work for FourWinds.

Testimony is expected to continue Friday afternoon.

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