Uresti fraud trial Day 2: 'Barbies' worked for company, bookkeeper says

Laura Jacobs is government's first witness to testify

By David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor, Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The bookkeeper of a now-bankrupt company that state Sen. Carlos Uresti is allegedly criminally linked to told jurors in the lawmaker's fraud trial Tuesday that the staff was made up primarily of pretty young women she characterized as "Barbies". 

Laura Jacobs, the government's first witness in the trial, was the bookkeeper for FourWinds Logistics, an oil field fracking sand company that prosecutors said was a complex Ponzi scheme.

Jacobs testified that alcohol flowed freely in the office and company spending was "outrageous."

She told jurors the money came from investors.

Jacobs said that Uresti had a 1 percent interest in FourWinds, but he invested no money. The veteran Democratic lawmaker served on the board of directors and was the staff attorney.

Because of his high visibility as a state senator, Uresti's primary role in FourWinds was to solicit investors, Jacobs said. In return, Uresti received profit-sharing money and solicitation percentages, Jacobs testified.

Prosecutors said Monday that one of the investors Uresti solicited was Denise Cantu, a woman he represented in a civil lawsuit.

Cantu lost $900,000 when the company folded, prosecutors said.

She is a key government witness, who is expected to testify this week.

Uresti faces 11 felony charges. 

A co-defendant, Gary Cain, faces nine felony charges, and is being tried alongside the San Antonio lawmaker.

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