(KWES) - A federal grand jury has indicted Texas State Senator Carlos Uresti.
The two indictments were announced Tuesday afternoon in San Antonio.
The first indictment, titled the Four Winds Indictment, is charging Uresti with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment also charges Uresti with five substantive counts of wire fraud, two counts of securities fraud; one count of engaging in monetary transactions with property derived from specified unlawful activity; and, one count of being an unregistered securities broker.
The indictment states that Uresti, along with two other people, developed an investment Ponzi scheme to market hydraulic fracturing (fracking) sand for oil production. The indictment also alleged that three men made false statements and representations to solicit investors in Four Winds. The indictment added that the men also used funds from more recent investors to pay for earlier investors and for personal expenses.
According to a release, Uresti faces up to 20 years in federal prison upon conviction of being an unregistered securities broker. The other two men also face up to 20 years behind bars.
The second indictment, titled, Reeves County Indictment, charged Uresti and Vernon Farthing, III, 44, of Lubbock, with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The indictment alleges that from Jan. 2006 to Sept. 2016, the two men conspired with others to pay and accept bribes in order to secure a Reeves County Correctional Center medical services contract for Farthing's company. The indictment specifically alleges that Farthing paid Uresti $10,000 a month as a marketing consultant and that half of that sum was then given to a Reeves County official for his support and vote to award the contract to Farthing's company.
According to the release, Uresti and Farthing face up to five years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bribery and up to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Uresti is expected to appear in court in San Antonio on Wednesday morning.
We will keep you up-to-date with the latest on this developing story.