SAN ANTONIO - The same day Carlos Uresti was convicted for his role in a Ponzi scheme, his co-defendant in an alleged bribery case asked the judge to separate their trials, citing the state senator's new criminal record and "extramarital affairs."
An attorney for Vernon Farthing, III, filed a motion to sever Friday after Uresti was convicted in federal court on 11 counts including fraud, money laundering and being an unregistered securities broker.
The pair are accused of paying and accepting bribes to get a Reeves County Correctional Center medical services contract with Farthing's company. The indictment alleges Farthing paid Uresti $10,000 per month as a marketing consultant.
It also claims Uresti gave half of that money to Jimmy Galindo, a former Reeves County judge. Galindo has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and failure to file income tax returns. He's expected to be sentenced in June. Galindo faces up to five years in prison for the bribery charge and up to one year in prison on the tax charge.
"Uresti has been accused of sexual harassment, extramarital affairs and drug use. Mr. Farthing has no criminal history, what so ever and has not been accused of wrongdoing," Farthing's court filing said.
Farthing's attorney has also filed a motion to dismiss the indictment for several reasons, for one that it is barred by the five-year statute of limitations. The document claimed "all of the essential elements of program bribery were completed on or before January 4, 2007 -- more than ten years before the indictment was returned."
"The Government's only possible argument to save the indictment is that the offense was continuing, but this contention fails to recognize that the 'thing of value' given to Jimmy Galindo was a job; not a specific dollar amount or a set schedule of payments. When Galindo left his position as the Reeves County Judge in December of 2006, he was hired by Uresti and compensated for his consulting work by Uresti's 'TPS.' This is plainly the 'thing of value' alleged to be given to Galindo as a 'reward' for his actions regarding the R-3 Contract. Nowhere in the indictment is it alleged that these three individuals agreed on a price for Galindo's actions in presiding over the R-3 Contract vote. All that is alleged is that Farthing agreed to 'pay Uresti $10,000 a month for 'marketing services,' and that Farthing's Company cut a check made payable to Uresti," Farthing's attorney said.
As of Monday morning, a hearing date on the motions had not been set. The case is currently set for trial in May.
Gary Cain, a consultant for the Four Winds company, was convicted with Uresti last week on fraud and money laundering charges. A third co-defendant, Stanley Bates, has pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges. The trio are accused of a Ponzi scheme in which they brought investors into a company that claimed to sell hydraulic fracking sand for oil production. Instead, the money was used to pay earlier investors and for various personal expenses. All three face up to 20 years in prison for each count. Uresti and Cain are expected back in court for sentencing June 28.
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