Bartolo Sanchez has until February 21st to decide whether to take a plea deal for federal fraud and identity theft charges.
A judge will check in with Sanchez on February 18th to see what his decision is (even though the hard deadline for the plea deal is February 21st).
If Sanchez decides not to take a plea deal, his trial could begin in late February.
Sanchez is charged with four counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count apiece of bank fraud and wire fraud.
Sanchez -- the former mayor of Toyah -- allegedly bilked the city out of approximately $300,000 by writing himself checks from city bank accounts he set up and forging the required second signature.
Sanchez also reportedly set up secret deals with an oilfield company to repair roads damaged by its vehicles, and prosecutors believe he took the proceeds of the deal for personal use.
Sanchez resigned as Toyah's mayor when he posted bond in December 2012.