Uresti fraud co-defendant pleads guilty

Stan Bates had wanted judge to reconsider severing his case

By Ben Spicer - Web Producer, Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - State Sen. Carlos Uresti co-Defendant Stan Bates withdrew his motion Monday to be tried separately and instead pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

A magistrate judge formally accepted the guilty plea from Bates to eight charges including money laundering, wire fraud and securities fraud.

Bates was Four Winds' chief executive officer and owned 51 percent of the now-bankrupt company, according to federal prosecutors.

Bates is the fourth Four Winds official to plead guilty in connection to the failed frac sand company, which has been described as a Ponzi scheme.

RELATED: Prosecuctors: Uresti's financial problems show he 'had motive to defraud'

RELATED: Key witness in Sen. Uresti federal fraud trial faces armed robbery charge

Uresti, a former minority owner and attorney for Four Winds who federal prosecutors contend took part in the illegal scheme, did not comment while leaving court.

He and co-defendant Gary Cain, a former Four Winds consultant who prosecutors allege received $30,000 a month from the company, are scheduled to go to trial later this month.

All three defendants were in court Monday morning for what was believed to be a decision from Judge David Ezra on whether to allow Bates to be tried separately.

Instead, Ezra walked into court and said he had just been informed that Bates intended to plead guilty.

Ezra warned all sides not to let the case be "tried in the media."

The build up to the trial has included the release of sexually explicit text messages between Bates and Denise Cantu, the federal government's star witness in the case and an alleged victim of the fraud scheme.

In unrelated text messages from Bates related to his motion to be tried separately, he referred to Uresti and Cain as "scum of the earth," and said he did not want to take part in a joint defense.

Jury selection for the trial of Uresti and Cain is scheduled to begin January 18.

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