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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The government today turned its attention to County Commissioner John Wiley Price’s finances in his federal corruption trial, calling his personal accountant to the witness stand to repeatedly say Price omitted vital information required on tax forms.
Russell Baity told prosecutor Walt Junker that he had prepared the embattled commissioner’s tax returns since at least 2000, and that through those years he was unaware of some of Price’s land deals, commissions and loans — information that would have been required by the Internal Revenue Service.
The FBI contends Price amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking bribes, in exchange for favors he could perform as a powerful elected official, and then hid those profits in, among other places, cash vaults, expensive vehicles and bogus bank accounts.
Junker repeatedly asked whether Price should have told him about certain financial transactions, and each time the accountant said, “Yes.”
“You need to report every dollar you receive on your tax returns,” he said.
Dressed in a brown suit and bow tie, Price watched his accountant on the stand as he flipped through thick binders filled with financial information, intertwining the commissioner with his executive assistant, Dapheny Fain, and his friend, political consultant and lobbyist Kathy Neal.
Both Fain and Nealy are also charged in the FBI’s case.
One piece of information Baity said he was not aware of, and should have been, was a $35,000 “gift” that Price gave to Fain, purportedly so she could offer a down payment on a house.
Both Fain and Price are on trial in downtown Dallas, now in its fourth week, while Nealy is expected to stand trial at a later time.