Summary: First accused of sexual harassment in addition to participating in a Ponzi scheme, Texan Senator Uresti is now accused of using a sexual relationship with his client to convince her to invest in the scheme.
A Texas state Senator got a grieving mother into a position where she trusted him and put $900,000 into his Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors allege that Sen. Carlos Uresti “groomed” the former client by fostering a sexual relationship with her.
Uresti, 54, has been accused by several women of sexual misconduct while he was a legislator. He is now on trial for his role in a Ponzi scheme with FourWinds Logistics, a frac sand company. Uresti was the legal counsel for the former company. He denies any knowledge of the scheme. The legislator is accused of money laundering, securities fraud and wire fraud for a total of 11 felony charges, according to The Daily Beast.
This latest allegation was detailed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Blackwell. He explained to the jury that Uresti used his position as a personal injury lawyer to represent Denise Cantu, a mother who lost her children in a vehicle rollover accident in 2010. Uresti won the wrongful death lawsuit for Cantu. He then took their relationship to another level. Blackwell claimed that he “became her confidant, he became her adviser, her dear friend, and it became sexual.”
Once Uresti had gained Cantu’s trust, he persuaded her into investing roughly $900,000 in FourWinds. The company went belly-up in 2015. She stated last year to the FBI that he sent her flirtatious text messages even when he was representing her during the lawsuit. She even claimed he said to her before she gave a deposition, “Damn, you look really sexy today,” as reported by Express News. And then, even though Uresti was married, he sent Cantu a picture of his penis, taken in a mall bathroom stall while his wife was shopping.
Uresti denies any intimate relationship.
Cantu claims that she was told by Uresti and FourWinds Chief Executive Officer Stan Bates that she could “just take all money back, with no risk and guaranteed” whenever she wanted. However, Cantu lost all but $100,000 on her investment after the company went bankrupt. Now Uresti and co-defendant Gary Cain have been accused of lying to investors, all while using the newly invested funds to pay back earlier investors.
The former FourWinds CEO Stan Bates and Chief Operating Officer Shannon Smith have both already pleaded guilty to their role in the scheme.
Uresti’s lawyer Mike McCrum insists that he was completely unaware of what the company was doing. McCrum said, “There’s not a question of fraud in this case. Fraud did happen. People pled guilty to it. But the people on the outside didn’t know about it. That’s why we’re here.”
The other women that have accused Uresti include a young reporter that said Uresti put his hands on her thigh and “put his tongue” down her throat. He is accused by the other women of making lewd comments, of repeatedly gawking at them, and sending inappropriate messages. The Daily Beast reported on the accusations against Uresti last month.
Do you think Uresti could have been completely unaware that something was not right about the company? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
To learn more about Ponzi schemes, read these articles:
- $35 Million Settlement Reached in Allen Stanford Ponzi Scheme
- Prosecutors Removed Reduced Recommendation for Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein
- 5 Lawyers Charged with Operating Ponzi Schemes
Source: The Daily Beast