Court orders Sen. Uresti to immediately surrender his law license

Fraud, money laundering convictions lead to state action

SAN ANTONIO – Two months after he was convicted in federal court on fraud and money laundering charges, the state bar placed state Sen. Carlos Uresti on a list of ineligible attorneys.

The State Bar of Texas lists disciplinary sanctions as the reason for the April 10 action. According to records obtained by KSAT 12, Uresti agreed to surrender his license after the State Bar of Texas cited his conviction as "serious" crimes in violation of Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

KSAT 12's Defenders reached out to Uresti's law office for comment, but an automated service did not direct the call to an actual person or allow the opportunity to leave a message. 

Uresti's law firm is located in the 900 block of McCullough Ave. Federal agents raided the building to gather evidence before Uresti's 2017 arrest. The building still has Uresti's name on it.

Uresti was ordered to surrender his license and cannot practice law in Texas.

"He is prohibited from holding himself out as an attorney at law, performing legal services for others, giving legal advice to others, accepting any fee directly or indirectly for legal services, appearing as counsel or in any representative capacity in any proceeding in any Texas court before any Texas administrative body (whether state, county, municipal, or other), or holding himself out to others or using his name in any manner in conjunction with the words 'Attorney at Law,' 'Counselor at Law,' or 'Lawyer," the court order said.

Uresti was also ordered to notify his clients and opposing counsel of his resignation.

"He must also return any files, papers, unearned monies and other property in his possession belonging to any client or former client to the respective client or former client or to another attorney at the client's or former client's request," the order said.

After Uresti was convicted in February, KSAT 12 asked if the conviction would prevent him from practicing law. At the time, officials with the State Bar of Texas said it was required to seek compulsory discipline as part of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedures.

A petition would be filed with the Board of Disciplinary Appeals and it would have to be proved that an attorney was convicted of a certain type of crime.

"Qualifying crimes are defined as 'any crime involving misapplication of money or other property held as a fiduciary' or barratry; any felony involving moral turpitude; any misdemeanor involving theft, embezzlement, or fraudulent or reckless misappropriation of money or other property; or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of another to commit any of those crimes,” public affairs counsel Claire Mock, of the office of the chief disciplinary counsel, said.

Uresti is appealing the conviction. He faces trial later this summer on federal bribery charges.

Uresti maintains his seat on the Texas Senate.

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