What's next for Carlos Uresti?

Former state senator faces bribery, money laundering charges

By Nicole Perez - Executive Producer

SAN ANTONIO - While Carlos Uresti has been sentenced to federal prison for defrauding people through the FourWinds Ponzi scheme, his legal troubles are far from over.

Uresti's attorneys are working on an appeal of his conviction. They have 14 days to submit that to the court.

Uresti received a 12-year prison sentence and must pay $6.3 million in restitution to victims of the Ponzi scheme.

Despite his prison sentence, Uresti is free on bond while he awaits trial for bribery and money laundering.

Here are the allegations in that case:

Uresti is accused of working as a consultant in a contract deal with Vernon Farthing, whose company provided medical services to inmates, and a Reeves County official -- but only if it received a contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house its inmates. Reeves County is among 15 counties in State Senate District 19, a seat from which Uresti resigned in June.

The indictment says Uresti was a consultant who was with Farthing at a meeting with Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo in August 2006 to discuss the contract and an arrangement promising payments if Galindo secured the contract. That deal was approved in September 2006 by Reeves County commissioners -- led by Galindo, who signed the contract that month. The indictment says within days Farthing sent Uresti a letter agreeing to pay Uresti $10,000 for his marketing services.

Uresti is alleged to have received $10,000 each month as a "consultant" fee from Farthing and Farthing's company. The indictment says Uresti kept half the money, then paid Galindo through his law firm and a company called Turning Point Strategies. 

Prosecutors say the conspiracy started Jan. 1, 2005, prior to the contract approval by Reeves County officials. The money exchange allegedly started Jan. 1, 2007, and ended Sept. 30, 2016.

In early court filings, Uresti's attorney argued the indictment "does not allege the payment of bribes for future official actions, and instead only alleges gratuities allegedly paid for past actions alleged to have already been taken."

U.S. District Judge David Ezra, the same judge who sentenced Uresti in the fraud case, ruled the indictment is "constitutionally sufficient."

Uresti and Farthing can reach a plea deal with the government by Oct. 5 or they can stand trial Oct. 22.

Sentencing recommendations for the pair have not been made public.

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