Ex-CS Employee Pleads Guilty to Skimming City Funds

A former College Station employee was sentenced Friday for what prosecutors call one of the most complex white collar crime cases ever in Brazos County.

Paul Urso, 52, pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for each count, but is eligible for shock probation after serving 180 days in jail.

Urso admitted under oath on Friday to accepting cash bribes totaling $100,000 from Texcon General Contractors, its president, Carey Smith, and General Superintendent Darrell Crain.

Smith is accused of over-charging the City of College Station for materials and labor from 2000 to 2002. Urso admitted to approving falsified or inflated invoices in exchange for cash and gifts.

Crain was never charged in the case after being granted immunity for cooperating with the state, according to prosecutors.

Urso, who was the city's Public Works supervisor, must also pay back $100,000 to the City of College Station. He was ordered to pay half of that by October 23 and make a public apology during the city council meeting.

Urso was employed by the city for more than 25 years. He resigned in 2003.

"I want to thank the College Station Police Department and the District Attorney's Office who relentlessly pursued this case following Paul Urso's resignation," College Station City Manager Glenn Brown wrote in a statement.

"On behalf of our citizens, I am glad the District Attorney's Office was able to obtain monetary restitution through Mr. Urso's plea bargain agreement. The City of College Station has taken proactive steps to reduce the chances of this ever happening again," Brown said.

The trial involving Carey Smith and Texcon was supposed to start Monday, but has been pushed back, likely until next year.

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