Man behind Ponzi scheme that led to arrest of state senator sentenced to 15 years

Stanley Bates pleaded guilty for involvement in Ponzi scheme

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator, Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A co-conspirator of former state senator Carlos Uresti was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison months after pleading guilty for his part in a scheme that stole millions of dollars from investors.

Stanley Bates, the former CEO of failed fracking sand company FourWinds Logistics, cried in court and let out an audible gasp as Judge David Ezra announced the sentence.

Victimized investors, including star witness Denise Cantu, testified about how the actions of Bates, Uresti and Gary Cain damaged their lives. Cantu alone said she lost $900,000.

"These men knew how I received this money, and the great loss and pain," said Cantu, who at times stared at Bates as she recalled the 2010 car crash that killed two of her five children.

Cantu was given a significant settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the crash, but then invested a majority of the money in FourWinds.

"I let Ms. Cantu down. I didn't protect her," said Bates while addressing the judge before learning his fate.

Uresti was sentenced to 12 years in prison earlier this summer and is now awaiting trial in an unrelated federal bribery case.

Cain was sentenced to more than five years in prison at his sentencing in June.

All three men have been ordered to pay back their victims more than $6.3 million.

Bates, who was free on bond until violating his pre-sentencing conditions earlier this summer, refused to comment as U.S. Marshals walked him out of federal court Tuesday afternoon.

Assistant U.S Attorney Joe Blackwell referred to Bates as a bully who coerced co-workers at FourWinds into committing criminal acts.

Blackwell said Bates was untruthful during his first interview with federal agents and had at times even inflated details about his service with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Copyright 2018 by KSAT - All rights reserved.