Federal prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case in chief today against veteran local politician Carlos Uresti, who is on trial on charges of fraud in connection with his work with a new defunct fracking sand company, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
As the prosecutors begin to wind down their case, Defense Attorney Michael McCrum succeeded in poking holes in the testimony of a key prosecution witness.
Denise Cantu testified that Uresti convinced her to invest the majority of a legal settlement he won for her in connection with a traffic accident, and claimed the pair also had an affair at the time.
Under direct examination, Cantu testified that the affair began when the two flirted in the elevator of a San Antonio office building when Cantu and Uresti were there to give a deposition. But under cross examination, Cantu conceded that the deposition in question was not given in San Antonio but in Brownsville, and in a one story building which, obviously, doesn't have an elevator.
During two and a half weeks of testimony, prosecutors have painted a picture of Fourwinds Logistics, the fracking company, as a non conventional corporation which employed 'provocatively clad and surgically enhanced' women, employees who were drunk by 10AM, and accountants who cooked the books to try to convince wealthy potential investors that the firm was successfully peddling fracking sand to the booming Eagle Ford oil and gas industry.
But defense lawyers countered that Uresti was a 'rainmaker' who was paid to use his influence and connections to attract investors to Fourwinds and say he had no knowledge of the firm's financial situation, saying Uresti didn't have an office at the Fourwinds headquarters at Loop 1604 and US 281, and didn't even have a key to the office.
Investors testified, however, that as investors were losing their shirts, Uresti was making out just fine. One man said Uresti showed him a bank balance of $1.4 million. An IRS agent testified that Uresti went from literally bouncing checks to buying a $2 million home, thanks to his association with Fourwinds.
Its not known if they will call them, but McCrum has listed a 'who's who' of San Antonio and Texas politics as potential witnesses for Uresti, from Henry Cisneros to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. It is also not known whether Uresti himself will take the stand.