Politics

Another Democrat Faces Criminal Charges: Texas State Senator Carlos Uresti Indicted

Elected officials continue to demonstrate why the American public has lost faith in them.

Texas State senator Carlos Uresti, if convicted on all charges, could face more than 180 years in prison after being indicted by a federal grand jury in two separate cases. Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Uresti for bribery, wire fraud, and using money derived from “unlawful activity,” among other charges, according to the indictments.

Uresti, 53, was indicted along with three other individuals in connection with his involvement in bankrupt frac sand company FourWinds Logistics alongside a public corruption case in Reeves County.

Uresti, former FourWinds CEO Stanley Bates, and consultant Gary Cain each face numerous charges over their work at FourWinds—a now-defunct oil field services company that went out of business. They are accused of defrauding investors. The indictments were unsealed Tuesday afternoon.

Denise Cantu is suing Carlos Uresti for fraud. She lost at least $800,000 investing in this now-defunct oil field services company he introduced her to, allegedly without disclosing his involvement in the firm or the commission he received on her investment.

Denise Cantu of Harlingen said that Uresti and others “tricked” her into believing that she was investing in FourWinds Logistic to buy and sell frac sand. According to a lawsuit she filed in Hidalgo County in January, she is accusing the company officials of distributing her money among themselves.

In the scheme, Uresti received a $27,000 commission on Cantu’s $900,000 investment. Her investment represented almost all of a legal settlement she received from a wrongful death case involving two of her children who were killed in a 2010 vehicle accident. In that case, Uresti was part of the legal team that won her the settlement. Cantu accuses Uresti of negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty over the FourWinds deal.

The FBI conducted a raid on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 at the law offices of Carlos Uresti connected to the investigation.

Separately, Uresti and Lubbock businessman Vernon C. Farthing, 44, are accused of conspiring with others from January 2006 through September 2016 to pay and accept bribes to secure a Reeves County Correctional Center medical services contract for Farthing’s company.

The indictment accuses Farthing of paying Uresti $10,000 a month as a marketing consultant. Half of that amount then went to a Reeves County official as a “kick back” for his vote to award the contract to Farthing’s company.

Federal prosecutors led by US attorney Richard Durbin Jr. and FBI special agent Christopher Combs have given Uresti a chance to turn himself in. Uresti, Bates, and Cain are scheduled to make initial appearances before US magistrate judge Henry Bemporad in San Antonio Wednesday morning.

See related content below.


Ex-Calif. State Sen. Leland Yee, Gun Control Champion, Heading to Prison for Weapons Trafficking

By Yanan Wang, Washington Post:

On the surface, the story of Leland Yee looks like a precipitous fall from grace.

The 67-year-old had risen steadily in the ranks of Bay Area politics since the late 80s, when he was elected to the San Francisco School Board. He then went on to sit on the city’s Board of Supervisors and in the state Assembly. The latter role saw him become the first Asian American speaker pro tem in 2004, making him the second-highest ranking Democrat in the California assembly at the time.

From 2006 onwards, Yee served as a state senator and was plotting a secretary of state campaign when his political visions were curtailed by a federal indictment in March 2014.

The arrest swept Yee and his associate Keith Jackson, 51, up in charges alongside some of the city’s most notorious characters, notable among them Chinatown gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

It was one thing for the public to learn that Chow, a known convict, may have become embroiled in more objectionable schemes. But it was quite another to hear that Yee, a respected public figure who had supposedly distanced himself from San Francisco’s corrupt past, was being accused through the same undercover FBI investigation.

To read the rest of the article visit the Washington Post.

Jon Harris

Jon Harris is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and former Army NCO, Sergeant Morales Club member, civilian law enforcement officer, and defense contractor with over 30 years in the law enforcement community. He is published in Army Trainer Magazine, authored regular columns in several newspapers, and is the author of the Cold War novel Breakpoint. His adventures as a security contractor in Afghanistan and Iraq can be found on www.dispatchfromdownrange.com. He holds a B.S. in Government and Politics and an M.S. in Criminal Justice and is currently completing his Juris Doctor degree.

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