Texas state Sen. Carlos Uresti (D.) was found guilty on all charges in federal court Thursday in a criminal fraud trail concerning his connection with a now-defunct oilfield company that perpetrated a Ponzi scheme against its investors.
It took the 12 jurors about 11 hours to reach a guilty verdict, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Both Uresti, a San Antonio Democrat, and co-defendant Gary Cain are allowed to remain free on bond until sentencing, which is scheduled for June 25.
The jury found Uresti guilty on five counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of securities fraud, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, and one count of unregistered securities broker.
Each wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, as do each of the securities fraud charges and the unregistered securities broker count. The conspiracy to launder monetary instruments charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Each count also carries a substantial fine.
A federal grand jury last year indicted Uresti on 11 felony charges in connection with his roles at the now-bankrupt oilfield services company FourWinds Logistics. Several of the company's leaders pleaded guilty to fraud charges before Uresti's case went to trial, the Texas Tribune noted. Federal prosecutors alleged that Uresti and his business partners created a Ponzi scheme involving the trade of frac sand, which is used in fracking to extract oil and gas.
Uresti, an attorney by trade, worked as general counsel for FourWinds and owned one percent of the company. The FBI raided his office in February 2017, before he was indicted in May.
Cain worked as a consultant to FourWinds.
Uresti had pleaded not guilty to the charges and referred to them as "groundless."