82ºF

State Sen. Uresti to be sentenced later this month

Judge resets sentencing to June 28

photo

SAN ANTONIO – A federal judge on Friday reset sentencing for state Sen. Carlos Uresti for later this month. Uresti was convicted in February on fraud and money laundering charges.

Uresti has been free on bond since his conviction. He and Gary Cain were convicted of running a Ponzi scheme through a company called FourWinds Logistics, a business that sold fracking sand. Investors said they gave the business thousands of dollars after they were promised big returns, but the company never delivered. Uresti, Cain and a third man, Stanley Bates, profited off the victims. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek up to $3 million in restitution from Uresti alone.

Bates pleaded guilty and testified against Uresti and Cain. Uresti is due in court for sentencing June 28, while Cain will be sentenced June 29. They face up to 20 years on each of the 11 counts of fraud. Sentencing for Bates is Aug. 27.

Uresti's troubles did not end with his conviction. Since then, he was ordered to surrender is license to practice law. Uresti's wife filed for divorce, sending federal prosecutors back to court where a judge ordered Uresti not to sell off assets without the court's permission.

"Divorce is a common asset protection device in cases where restitution is anticipated, and defendants will routinely agree to a final decree in which the non-debtor spouse receives all of the assets while the defendant receives all the debt. In these instances, the purpose of the divorce is largely to avoid the lien that will arise at sentencing ... enabling the government to seek to apply that property to a defendant's restitution debt," prosecutors said.

In a separate case, Uresti faces trial in October on federal bribery charges.

He maintains his Texas Senate seat.