According to the indictment, Uresti and Farthing conspired with others "to pay and accept bribes" from January 2006 to September 2016 so Farthing's company could obtain a medical services contract for the Reeves County Correctional Center. The fraud charges bear similarity to another high-profile case: that of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican. She has said she was not initially aware that Uresti would get a piece of her investment, though Uresti has suggested otherwise. Uresti is among the Legislature's most powerful Democrats. Shortly after the brief hearing, Uresti told reporters he was innocent of all charges. Three other individuals were also charged by the grand jury.
With allegations of serious financial mismanagement detailed in bankruptcy court, the FBI previous year opened an investigation.
Uresti will appear in federal court for a formal arrangement on May 31st.
In addition to the Four Winds indictment, Uresti and 44-year-old Vernon Farthing III, of Lubbock, are accused of conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering.
On Nov. 4, four days before Election Day, Eric Nelson, the former marketing director for FourWinds, was indicted for his role in an alleged scheme to defraud investors.
The indictment also charges Bates with one count of wire fraud; two counts of securities fraud; and, three counts of engaging in monetary transactions with property derived from the specified unlawful activity. Federal attorneys accused Nelson of altering company bank statements to "grossly" inflate its account balance. Uresti, who provided legal services to the company, allegedly helped recruit FourWinds investors while maintaining a small stake in the company. They face similar charges to Nelson's.
Two alleged co-conspirators - Stanley Bates, 45, and Gary L. Cain, 60, - also turned themselves in around 8 a.m, federal law enforcement officials said. Uresti will not be allowed to be in possession of firearms or use alcohol in excess.
Cantu's 13-year-old daughter, four-year-old son and two friends were killed in 2010, when a tire on her SUV blew out, causing the vehicle to roll over.
Uresti also pledged that he and his employees would cooperate with investigators.
This is Uresti's first court appearance since the indictment came down.
That document, first filed in February of past year, did not originally disclose the $40,000 loan.
Uresti corrected the document in August, following the Express-News investigation.
They are facing a combined 22 felony counts that each carry a maximum of between 10 years and 20 years in prison and between $250,000 to $5 million in fines if found guilty.
"For each fraud related charge, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison upon conviction", federal prosecutors said.
Uresti, Bates and Cain are expected to appear before a USA magistrate judge in San Antonio at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Between the two indictments, Uresti faces five counts of wire fraud, two counts of securities fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery, engaging in monetary transactions with property derived from specified illegal activity and acting as an unregistered securities broker.