DALLAS (CN) – Federal authorities said their federal corruption investigation led them to seize more than $460,000 in cash from the home of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who just won the Democratic primary last week.
A May 29 forfeiture complaint explains that officers seized $229,590 in cash from Price’s home safe last June under a search warrant. They seized another $230,763 as the purported proceeds of a Grady Niblo Road property he sold to Dallas-area real estate developer W.O. Henry.
In a 62-page affidavit, FBI agent Donald Sherman said the money came from crimes, including money laundering; bankruptcy fraud; bribery of public officials and witnesses; aiding and abetting; theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds; and interference with commerce by threats or violence.
“Price and others have conspired for Price to accumulate assets far beyond his disclosed means to save and/or pay for same since at least in or about 1995, the total value and nature of which cannot be accounted for but for the undisclosed and illegal income detailed below,” the Sherman affidavit states.
Sherman accused Price and others of structuring cash income to avoid currency transaction reports at banks. The alleged co-conspirators have also commingled legitimate and illegal income to hide money-laundering operations, according to the complaint.
Consultant and lobbyist Kathy Nealy paid Price, whose campaign she managed, more than $500,000 from 2001 to 2011, Sherman said.
Nealy’s company allegedly received more than $2 million during that time from clients who have legislative and contractual matters before the county commissioners. Sherman also detailed how Nealy let Price over the last several years use some of her expensive cars, including a BMW 645 and a Chevrolet Colorado Avalanche trust.
Soon after companies made payments to Nealy’s accounts, the commissioner’s court would adopt measures favorable to each company at Price’s prodding, Sherman said.
In 2002, for example, the commissioner’s court authorized the county to negotiate with a company called Schlumberger for an information technology contract, four days after a Nealy account received a $12,000 check from Schlumberger, according to the affidavit.
Schlumberger paid Nealy more than $251,000, Sherman said.
In April 2011, Nealy allegedly deposited a $25,000 check from the campaign of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Weeks later, Price endorsed Rawlings and cashed a check from Nealy for $1,000, Sherman said.
Campaigning as “Our Man Downtown,” Price has been in office since 1985. He is currently Dallas’ longest-serving county commissioner.