In a court filing Friday, prosecutors formally opposed Uresti’s request to start collecting his annual state pension that he has valued at more than $80,000. He needs the pension checks because he “doesn’t have the money to survive,” according to a
Senior U.S. District Judge
A 12-person jury in February convicted Uresti on 11 felony charges, including securities fraud and money laundering, for his role in a now-defunct oil field services company that defrauded investors. Last month, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay $6.3 million in restitution to his victims.
Uresti “largely forfeited” his right to “unfettered control over his assets” as a result of the sentence, assistant
Uresti’s “victims take priority despite the financial consequences to the (Uresti) family, an unfortunate result of his criminal choices,” the prosecutors state in their court filing. “The Government must preserve what little property (Uresti) has remaining to ensure that something is returned to them.”
The government met with attorneys for Uresti, 54, and his wife
The Urestis “maintain unreasonable expectations” by “failing to acknowledge the Government’s obligations to (his) victims,” it says.
Efforts to reach the Urestis’ lawyers Saturday were unsuccessful.
All of the former senator’s property, including his pension, are saddled by a criminal judgment lien.
The government indicates in its court filing that it intends to garnish Uresti’s pension.
If Uresti “is eligible for a lump sum disbursement, the Government would likely elect to receive such a distribution to provide victims timely recovery,” it says in its court document. “Whereas the Government would be limited to 25 percent of (Uresti’s) monthly pension payment thereafter, the amount of the payment is affected by the Urestis’ attempts to negotiate any amounts” to Lleanna.
Lleanna filed court papers to end their marriage about a week after her husband’s conviction. Prosecutors questioned the motives behind the divorce and obtained a restraining order preserving Uresti’s assets. The government says she only has an interest in pension contributions for the roughly six years they’ve been married.
The Texas Employee Retirement System has refused to issue any pension checks because of the restraining order, Uresti says in his court filing. The pension is for the 21 years he served in the state Legislature. He announced his resignation from the
Uresti is now asking for partial relief from the restraining order so he can collect his pension, as well as disburse some of the pension money to Lleanna and his first wife
Even if Carlos and
“Given this, it behooves them to reach an agreement with the Government,” it adds. It also says Lleana has been working with the government to determine the couple’s personal property interests.
A final agreement has not been reached, however, due to unresolved efforts to sell the Urestis’
Uresti’s request regarding his pension was filed by attorney
Based on a finding that Uresti is “indigent,” a judge granted him a court-appointed lawyer for the appeal of his criminal conviction. That attorney,
The judge also ruled that Lleanna has no basis to intervene in the pension battle. She filed a motion asking the judge to allow her husband to receive his pension. Lleanna’s attorney, Juanita Peláez-Prada, will be able to argue at the hearing but she will not be able to question or call witnesses.
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