FBI alleges Price laundered money through close colleagues

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 1 at 11:52 AM

DALLAS - New allegations from the FBI against Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price outline an alleged money laundering scheme in which Price funneled cash through the businesses of three close associates: Karen Manning, Kathy Nealy and Dapheny Fain.

The FBI alleges Price privately influenced or controlled each of their businesses.

John Carney, Price's attorney, said Price has done nothing wrong.

"Price has never sold his vote. He's a good public servant,” Carney said.
         
First, there’s art dealer Karen Manning. The FBI said Price conspired to funnel campaign funds through her business and sent customers to her who also had official business with the County Commissioners and Price.
         
Then there’s Price's assistant, Dapheny Fain. She owns a T-shirt and novelty company called MMS.
         
Over a three-and-a-half year period, the FBI said SBC, now AT&T, wrote checks to MMS totaling $1.4 million. According to the FBI, some of those checks were deposited by Prince into his personal accounts.
         
Finally, there's Kathy Nealy.

Gromer Jeffers, a political reporter for the Dallas Morning News, said she is a powerful political consultant, known for getting the vote out in Southern Dallas County.
 
"You hire Kathy Nealy, she gets someone like John Wiley Price, who has the closest thing to a political organization in Southern Dallas County as there is," Jeffers said. "So, you get his machine working for you."

The FBI said over ten years, Nealy collected $2 million from corporate clients with official business before the Commissioners.
 
Some of that money, it’s alleged, was funneled back to Price in exchange for favorable decisions from him in his role as county commissioner.

Radio journalist Robert Ashley said the news will likely not affect his support from constituents.

"In Dallas, Texas, there seems to be this selective prosecution," Ashley said. "Look at the elected officials who've been convicted, indicted -- the majority of them have been black.”

News 8's Brett Shipp knew about these latest developments earlier but held off until after Price's primary election this week.
        
Shipp attempted to ask Price about the governments allegations. He told Shipp, “Go to hell.”

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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