Former State Sen. Uresti Facing Tough Justice Today in Federal Court

posted by 1200 WOAI -

For more than two decades, Carlos Uresti was among the most respected leaders in Texas, taking the lead on key issues like Child Protective Services reform and education funding.

But today, all that is in the past, as Uresti will stand before a federal judge in San Antonio, and be sentenced on his conviction on eleven counts of fraud.  

He was found guilty in February of ripping off investors who he convinced to put their money into a bogus fracking sand company.

In pre-trial motions filed with the court on Tuesday, both sides make their case on why Uresti should get sympathy, or no mercy, from U.S. District Judge David Ezra.

Lawyers for Uresti included letters from dozens of local and state officials attesting to his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, and his leadership in the Legislature and in his home city.

"The overwhelming portion of the life of Carlos Uresti did not involve criminal conduct," defense lawyers said in their request for leniency.

They also pointed out that Uresti has resigned from the State Legislature, and has begun the process of raising money to repay the investors he ripped off, largely by selling his former law office building on I-35 just north of downtown.

In addition to prison time, Uresti is also facing the possibility of being required to repay millions of dollars.

But prosecutors say Uresti should be sentenced to 'near the top end' of the possible prison time, recommending as much as 21 years for the 54 year old politician.

To say Uresti's life has crashed and burned in the past six months would be an understatement.  In addition to resigning from the State Legislature, where he had served for 21 years, Uresti has surrendered his law license, has begun to sell off his assets, and is being divorced by his wife.

And this is not the end of Uresti's troubles.  

In October, he is set to stand trial in federal court again.  This is an unrelated case alleging that Uresti bribed officials in Reeves County to accept a businessman's bid for a lucrative concessions and food service contract for a state jail facility located in the county.

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