Former Democrat State Sen. Carlos Uresti was released after serving four years of a 12-year sentence in federal prison.

In 2018, Uresti was put on trial for 11 felony charges, including five counts of wire fraud, two counts of securities fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, one count of engaging in monetary transactions from specified unlawful activity, and being an unregistered securities broker.

Uresti played a part in an oilfield services company, FourWinds Logistics, that perpetuated a Ponzi scheme against its investors.

The personal injury lawyer was also accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Uresti allegedly “groomed” his client Denise Cantu, a mother whose children were killed in a car accident, and persuaded her to invest $900,000 in FourWinds, which went bankrupt in 2015.

Uresti was found guilty of all charges, sentenced to 12 years in prison, and ordered to pay $6.3 million in restitution to FourWinds victims.

After Uresti’s resignation, a special election was held to fill the Senate District 19 seat, which represents southwest Texas all the way to San Antonio. Republican Pete Flores won the election with 57 percent of the vote, which allowed Republicans to retain a three-fifths majority in the Texas Senate.

Earlier this year, San Antonio Express-News reported that Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra, who originally sentenced Uresti, quietly reduced the sentence.

Although the Federal Bureau of Prisons has Uresti listed as being released in December of this year, he was released earlier than expected.

Uresti provided a statement about his release via his attorney, Mikal Watts:

I’m a better man — better than before. I have learned the art of “hitting it and pivoting” and it has made all the difference in my situation. Through this journey, I have emerged wiser, healthier, happier, and yes, even funnier.

Now, Uresti says he will be “embarking on a new chapter in his career,” working at his attorney’s law firm: Watts & Guerra.

Valerie Muñoz

Valerie Muñoz is a native South Texan and student at Texas A&M University, where she studies journalism. She is passionate about delivering clear and comprehensive news to Texans.