A Sarita man who was awaiting sentencing on a federal wire fraud charge was killed Friday in a boating accident on Lake Lyndon B. Johnson near Marble Falls.

The body of Jesse Marcus “Marc” Estes, 44, of Sarita was found by a search team led by the Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Steve Lightfoot, Press Office Manager for the TPWD, said in a statement that the search was conducted by more than a dozen Texas game wardens, three side scan sonar boats, a dive team boat and a Texas game warden human remains K9. Texas game wardens were also assisted by Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, LCRA Lake Rangers with side scan sonar boat, and Horseshoe Bay Police Department’s side scan sonar boat. Fire department personnel and divers from Cassie VFD, Lake Buchanan VFD, Kingsland VFD, Sunrise Beach VFD and Hoover Valley VFD also assisted with the search for the victim.   

The search and recovery effort was complicated by several factors, including high boat traffic in the area of the lake where the incident occurred, as well as numerous underwater obstacles that limited sonar effectiveness and diver visibility.

Estes was pronounced deceased by the Burnet County Justice of the Peace Pct. 1. 

No autopsy was ordered.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana, Estes was awaiting sentencing on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Estes pleaded guilty to the charge on Feb. 20.

According to prosecutors, Estes stole approximately $374,626 from the company he worked for, Texas Steam and Instrumentation, a corporation related to the Louisiana Steam Equipment Company. Prosecutors said from 2007 to 2014, Estes generated false invoices for other companies he owned and operated and paid them through Texas Steam.

Estes faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 18.

The website of the Kenedy County-Wide Common School District lists Marc Estes as a member of the district’s board of trustees, with a term set to expire in May 2021.

Attempts to reach the superintendent of the district were unsuccessful Wednesday.

(Update: Interim Superintendent Kristen Tinsley responded to an email Wednesday and confirmed that Estes was a school board member at the time of his death.)

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