A business owner who was the first to contact authorities about Senator Carlos Uresti and help stop the Ponzi scheme shared his thoughts about the results of the trial.
Richard Thum has operated 17 different Five Star Cleaners locations for nearly 40 years in the San Antonio area. As the owner, Thum has had his fair share of burdens to keep his business open to serve customers and keep his staff employed.
"It's amazing how hard we have to work," Thum said. "The hot summers and how difficult the business is."
Thum is one of several people who invested in Four Winds, an oil field startup company that was promoted by Senator Carlos Uresti. Federal investigators determined that the company was simply a Ponzi scheme.
Thum said that he spent months making sure he properly vetted out the company with attorneys and background checks.
"When this incident happened, of course, I had a lot of sleepless nights, wondering how in the world I ever got messed up in this situation," Thum recalled. "You have to be super careful. You have to be able to cross all the T's and dot the I's. We thought we did."
Thum said that while he's glad Sen. Uresti was convicted, as a business owner, he's now facing a major financial setback. He doesn't know how long it will take to earn all that money back.
Thum invested $1.4 million in the fake company.
"It takes you a lot of shirts to be able to recuperate that money that was lost. We're not just the only ones," Thum said. "There's no winners in this. We lost our money, other investors lost their money. You have Senator Uresti and those who participated, it's affecting their families. That's sad in itself."
Thum did not want to comment on the senator's political position. Sen. Uresti says that he has no plans to step down. Instead, Thum emphasized that he's glad he brought forth the case to authorities and prevented other honest investors from getting scammed.