SAN ANTONIO - Former State Sen. Carlos Uresti (D) was sentenced to 12 years in prison in federal court Tuesday. He previously stepped down from his position effective June 21.
His co-defendant, Gary Cain, was sentenced to 68 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered Cain to pay, jointly and severally with Carlos Uresti, $6,345,441 in restitution.
Uresti was convicted on 11 counts related to using sand fracking company FourWinds as a Ponzi scheme to defraud investors. The charges included money laundering, securities fraud and acting as an unregistered broker.
Following that conviction, Uresti said he would appeal the guilty conviction.
Uresti's political career spans two decades. He was first elected in 1997 as State Representative. In 2006, he was elected to the State Senate. In 2016, Uresti was re-elected for a term that ran through 2020.
Uresti was not immediately taken to jail because he is facing another fraud case. That trial is supposed to happen in October. The judge felt it was essential to keep him out on bond in order to prepare for that case.
Cain received his sentence Wednesday and was given a report date of September 25. In the near future, Cain will be told where he needs to report to begin his sentence.
Uresti released a statement after stepping down. It reads, in part:
"Moving forward, my priority will be to continue to ensure justice is done and working to help children across Texas. During the last year, some of the media has been unfair, inaccurate, or sensational when it was hurtful, not necessary or simply not true. Nonetheless, I know what I did and what I did not do.
It has always been my intention to do what was right for the constituents of District 19 and for Texas. To the extent any of you feel I let you down, please grant me forgiveness."