San Antonio senator stands trial in fraud case

Texas Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. right, leaves the federal courthouse for a hearing, Monday, July 10, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. right, leaves the federal courthouse for a hearing, Monday, July 10, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A Texas state senator is facing fraud charges in connection with his role at a now-defunct oil field services company that federal prosecutors say was a Ponzi scheme.

The federal criminal fraud case against Democratic Sen. Carlos Uresti of San Antonio opened Monday. The nearly dozen charges against Uresti include securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. His co-defendant Gary Cain faces nine felony charges and is being tried alongside the lawmaker.

Prosecutors say Uresti pushed a client to invest large portions of a settlement she received in a wrongful death lawsuit in FourWinds Logistics, a fracking sand company that went bankrupt in 2015. Prosecutors say Uresti and Cain lied to investors to make money.

Uresti’s attorney says the lawmaker had no knowledge the company’s head was squandering money on expenses unrelated to the company’s business.

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