DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The attorney representing Dapheny Fain, embattled County Commissioner John Wiley Price’s assistant, said he believes his client will soon be indicted on federal charges.
This belief stems from FBI documents released last week that link her with Price, and link Price with allegations of money laundering and tax fraud.
Attorney Tom Mills repeatedly scoffs at the federal affidavit outlining possible wrongdoing as nothing more than a “marketing paper.” And, sarcastically, he says he’d give it an “A” for making innocent transactions seem suspicious.
“I haven’t seen money laundering. But the ‘marketing’ piece says it is,” he said.
Mills insists the government is going overboard, digging back 17 years in Fain’s relationship with Price. Did she help hide money from the IRS during Price’s bankruptcy?
“Her response, ‘No, I wasn’t in a conspiracy with Mr. Price or anybody else to try to hide his assets,’” Mills says.
When the government raided Price’s home last summer, agents seized nearly $230,000 from his safe. Fain claims $115,000 of that is legitimate money belonging to her business, MMS. She claims she took that money back in cash when depositing checks for the t-shirt and mugs specialty business.
“She almost always pulls out cash,” Mills said. “And usually puts it in his (Price’s) safe.”
He says it’s emergency cash in case she ever needs a quick electronic transfer for an overnight business purchase.
“She did not have a ledger for every time it went out and every time it went in; she doesn’t have a ledger,” Mills said. “And the ‘marketing’ piece says that means it’s all made up. But it’s the truth.”
Mills insists MMS is a genuine business, providing thousands of dollars in campaign items for Price and others as he supervises Fain in her job in county government.
“What I’ve seen, from all the books and records from MMS, it’s a business that does business. A lot of which has absolutely nothing to do with John Price,” Mills said.
He then said he expects his client to be indicted. She will plead not guilty.
Mills added that she would not take a deal to testify against Price.
“ I imagine the topic will come up, but if she gets indicted she’ll be going to trial,” Mills said.
Fain sits on the board of directors of Price’s non-profit Kwanzaa Fest, but Mills says she doesn’t make very much money from it. He expects it could be months before any federal indictments are unsealed, but predicts Fain will be found “not guilty.”
Again, no one is formally charged with a crime.