DALLAS – Federal authorities say that $229,590 in cash found in a safe in John Wiley Price’s Oak Cliff home last summer, as well as another $230,000 in money from a land deal, were all proceeds of conspiracy to commit money laundering, bankruptcy fraud and bribery, according to a document filed Thursday in Dallas federal court.
FBI agents found the money in Price’s safe while serving search warrants on his home last June. They also served search warrants on his assistant, Daphne Fain, and political consultant Kathy Nealy.
Agents also seized $50,000 and $180,763 from a Dallas County builder who was set to pay that money to Price for the purchase of a vacant nine-acre tract on Grady Niblo Road in Dallas. The builder’s attorney has said he did nothing wrong.
Billy Ravkind, Price’s attorney, said Thursday morning that he was still reading the government’s filing and had no comment.
No one has been charged with any crime in the investigation, which is ongoing.
The U.S. attorney’s office made the allegations in a civil lawsuit filed to keep the seized money. In it, they detail how agents found the money in the safe, stashed in various envelopes. Documentation found with the money bundles includes various banks and addresses in Dallas, Forney and elsewhere.
Price filed for bankruptcy in 1996, and it was discharged in 2001.
Price, according to the government’s filing, has claimed ownership to $115,000 of the seized money. Fain, Price’s assistant, has claimed $114,590.
Price and his attorneys have fought the seizure of the money, prompting the government to have to file documentation of why they believe it was proceeds from criminal activity.
The FBI’s investigation went public last summer with the serving of search warrants.
FBI agents are investigating Price’s use of campaign funds, his land deals, the African heritage festival he founded known as KwanzaaFest, his expensive car collection, as well as various businesses controlled by his associates.
Agents are also examining his role in in the much-publicized controversy involving an alleged shakedown scheme that targeted the California developer behind a massive logistics center in southern Dallas County known as an inland port.