John Wiley Price Investigation: Sure, We're Speculating Here, But It's Informed Speculation

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Look, I hate it when people tell me stuff and then won't tell me how they know it. I generally apply about a 50 percent discount to information like that. So I'm about to do the same thing to you: tell you a bunch of stuff I have been learning about the ongoing FBI public corruption investigation surrounding Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and then tell you I can't tell you who told me.

These are things I have learned from very good sources who have spoken to me on condition of anonymity. I invite you ... no, because you are the Friends of Unfair Park, it's more than that: I expect you to call bullshit on me. It's the price I must pay.

But here's what I am hearing, anyway:

johnwileypriceportrait.jpg
The FBI investigation, which went public June 27 with raids and subpoenas, will run about another nine months before indictments. There will be indictments.

This will be an IRS case, to some significant degree, what's sometimes called a net worth case. FBI investigators are out beating the streets toting up everything Price has ever received for free or less than full price from anybody and everybody, including free haircuts. Did he declare those corn-rows? One day we will know.

The FBI has revised its dragnet backward at least once, asking for even older records than originally sought. Nobody I have talked to can figure out why.

There may or may not be some wrong ideas in the heads of the feds. They seem to think some of the companies they are looking into are plain-Jane false fronts. They're not. They're real companies that do real business. You can argue about how they get the business. But they are not transparently fake deals like some of the arrangements we saw in the 2009 Dallas City Hall federal corruption case that brought convictions of city council member Don Hill and several associates.

Those were fake. These are just iffy.

This case grew directly out of information the feds gleaned from witnesses in the Hill investigation and trial. It has everything to do with the Inland Port story. There is some anticipation -- not certainty but a sense of possibility -- that the FBI probe will go uphill from Price to include people who may have engaged in some tit-for-tat with him on major public policy issues.

Rich white men?

Price had more than cash in the safe the FBI opened in his house June 27. There were expensive watches -- already reported -- and gold bars. Don't know the value.

Both the government and the defense team are already talking to jury consultants. Billy Ravkind, lawyer for Price, told me he did mock jury studies in Dallas before the Al Lipscomb corruption trial in 2000 and found that Lipscomb needed two types of people on his jury in order to get an acquittal or a hung jury: black people and/or rich white men.

Rich white men?

Yeah. Ravkind said rich white men on his mock juries looked at the favors and piddly cash payments Lipscomb had received from businesses in return for favorable votes on the city council over the years and said, in Ravkind's words, "This is just bullshit."

The way of the world.

More on the jury consultants here Monday. Oh, by the way, I talked to them on the record and will name them, so you won't have to say, "Schutze is just bullshit." Which I invite you to say now. I'm not. But I invite you to say it anyway.

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Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

What about the late Shaw couple? Any of this go back to them as well?

Ben Dover
Ben Dover

By the way, I just love my JWP bobble head doll. This is the first time JWP has agreed with me on so many issues.

Ben Dover
Ben Dover

Regardless of the charges, Mr. Price and his croynies all need to be put on trial.It seems clear that Price was influence peddling and, buying and selling cars he never actually purchased,for cah that is!.By the time the Feds find everything fromexpensive gifts to free parking and medical care at UT Southwestern's Dermatology department,there will be no doubt thta he has used his influence to benefit himself. The paper trail on that Bentley don't seem to make any sense to me either.He purchased it from a now defunct dealer with a clouded title that he paid $141,000 for when it's value is much greater? If you're not going to drive it, why buy it ? I would like to be contacted when all of his cars go on public auction.Good news! Gold is up. Bad news! You don't actually have it in your possession now.

Dominicide
Dominicide

Shootz! Okay, yes I am a friend of Unfair Park. I followed your information about the tying the Hill thing & JWP. After my first read of the affidavit something seems more than Venn diagramish than your statements.

From the Hill Indictment:

"Lee, Spencer and [Ronald W.] Sloveck formed the Kiest entities for the purpose of developing real estate projects in South Dallas using public funds. They operated the Kiest entities out of 1409 South Lamar, Suites 703 and 704, Dallas, Texas ("the Lofts").

Gosh, a narrow-minded individual may think JWP& Hill somehow had the same chicks at the same place. OR, there was an awkward exchange of "art" and Canadian travelers checks. Or gold bars, watches, whatever.

CRA
CRA

Isnt it suspicious that Jack Matthews was the developer of South Side on Lamar and all these people have places there............then he gets the City Convention Center Hotel Development contract from Leppert, when he had never developed a hotel in his life?????

Something tells me that Jack Matthews needs to be investigated by the FBI, if they are not already!!! Smelly, real smelly!!! 

Kinda, reminds me of all these politicians that live at the W in Victory, Perot's development!!! Smelly, real smelly!!!! 

Oh, I know, just a coincidence!!! Right!!! 

whodunnit
whodunnit

........and Jack Matthews IS from Canada..........AND  he just landed a nice subsidy package from the City for (re) developing a studio for making motion pictures in the Cedars..........HMMMMMMMM..........seems to be a pattern........... 

JimS
JimS

The interesting thing to me is that I never thought of Hill and Price as being especially close or even associated with each other politicially. They may have been brothers. It's even more possible they were cousins, raising the question: who's their uncle?

Jl Foster
Jl Foster

No matter how many disgusting acts have been carried out by JWP, it could all boil down to fraud and structuring.  Under Title 31, Sec. 5324, even transactions involving Non-financial trades ( such as automobiles, cash in the home safe, gold bars etc.) must be reported.  Looks like it could be a long bumpy ride.

W W
W W

Jim.. On your gun..Do you shoot them with the BB part of it to get them pissed off enough.. to where they come and  get in range of the shotgun??

JimS
JimS

I can't believe nobody has noticed it's a squirt gun.

JimS
JimS

By the way, that's not even me. They had to hire a model to make me look all old like that.

JimS
JimS

Plus I had to wear a lot of makeup.

Urbandweller203
Urbandweller203

When the feds proceeded with the raid they already had their guy. Rule # 1, always get the main associate, girl associate and the ???**?? at the same time. Get the main ???**?? to rat him out so they won't get married before the indictment. Rule # 2, PR; its always a public relations concerns when the feds take down a black politician from the hood of 27 years. Remember the guy with the money in the freezer in New Orlean. So, when you hit him with the warrant you let out the really bad criminal stuff that is  hard for Lil Ray Ray on the corner to defend. And you know Lil Ray Ray has done it all knows it all. They already know who the big fishes are and don't be surprised, not all  are in North Dallas. Remember this type of guy was created in Southern Dallas. So if they are looking further back and this is an IRS case,well, they are looking for major Southern Dallas player(s) and the new ones that were being created. I believe they are throwing a wide net to unclogg the system. Rule # 3 Watch and observe; let everyone like us speculate on stuff we don't know and keep the curiosity strong, while the feds watch and monitor large donors as they move around. Don't forget the list of key players and companies listed in the warrant. And last but not least, Rule # 4 Timing; get the bad guys when emotions are high and people will pay attention. Had they gone after JWP  in the mid 2000 when everyone was making money and the economy was good, there might have been a riot or louder voices. Instead they waited until everyone was mad as hell at thieves on wallstreet, losing their homes and cars, the bad economy, unemployment etc. Who would really stand up and say this is a witch hunt.

whodunnit
whodunnit

Nine months? If it takes that long, but they get all the bad guys, it'll be worth the wait.

For the record...
For the record...

Four years has been the standard heretofore - former Dallas Councilman Hill, former U.S. Rep. Ford, etc. Nine months is quite quick.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

"This will be an IRS case, to some significant degree, what's sometimes called a net worth case."

More "CASH" out go than what you have coming in is one way to be noticed .

Have real expensive toys that require registration at the COUNTY TAX Office. No matter what you may have claimed to pay for them . People notice .People who get fired in warrant tickets and towing scandals  might be motivated to roll a dime on someone who they see is doing what they were doing in a round about way.I think JWP and company had countless  eyes watching them.And when commissioners court let all those  Deputy contestables go and Constables exposed before election folks had no reason to keep the secrets secret .

And folks you are fooling your selves if you think staying under the 10,000 rule will keep you under the Radar. The suspicious transaction rule comes in to play where the person you deal with can report a CASH transaction to the feds of say 300.00 or 400.00 or more if they think funny business is going on. As a matter of fact they are required by law to.

Don Abbott
Don Abbott

Our town is as rotten as...well, how do we quantifiy it?  Easy really.  We're the perennial third place finisher in the Corruption Derby behind Chicago (hard to argue with Tommy guns) and New Orleans (a gumbo of graft and greed).  Dallas has devolved into a shitty mess that its residents ignore cuz there's all those damn malls.  Expect things to continue downhill.  

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

I bet they find receipts for his sexy underwear from Skivies on Throckmorton.

Perry Moore
Perry Moore

Rich white men are like Tar Baby. We can poke at them for all that we are worth, and we end up just as stuck as JWP. Then again, they don't hold us down and make us take their lucre.

Paul
Paul

Whew ... just in time as I was going through a Schutze story on JWP withdrawal shakes ... The Al Capone route is good enough for me ... I don't know which is worse -- an elected official selling out for money; or, that the elected official sold out his/her constituents for personal gain ... Maybe this will prove what I have suspected all along ... the lack of development in S. Dallas County is not due to the lack of people wanting to invest but due to the elected officials wanting their skim ... er no ... tribute ... that's not it ... oh wait ... "consulting fee" ... oh that's right ... All I can say is if South Dallas County is such a terrible place in which to invest, how do you explain northern Ellis County?

Rooster
Rooster

Schutze is just bullshit.

No, I don't really mean it, but it was fun to say.

On a related note, I doubt very, very seriously, if there will be one rich white man indicted.  Life just doesn't seem to work that way.

For the record...
For the record...

I smell ... a bet! Rooster, you're on for a dollar. Having serving subpoenas at such a high-profile rich, white men's corporation, obviously linked to the business of the Inland Port, and then NOT indicting someone of that ilk, the Feds wouldn't be able to get a single, meaningful conviction this side of Amarillo.

CRA
CRA

Time for that to change if we ever really want to make a real change. 

Rooster
Rooster

I know.  Perhaps I'm just cynical, but it never seems to happen.

Geo
Geo

He actually has control of 24 different vehicles.  Estimated value of all vehicles would be somewhere around $1.2 million.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

If this is an IRS case, im guessing they're going to take the Al Capone route, which is to say go over JWPs life with a fine toothed comb to uncover any and everything this guys had his hands in. Without venturing into speculation, I have a gut feeling JWPs friend Rev. Holmes is going to be swept in this as well as other "power players" in So. Dallas Poverty Politics. If Im wrong on that, I owe you a coke Jim...

Brenden
Brenden

Oh what a day. i cant wait to throw a party and a parade to celebrate JWP going to the pokie!

SteveT
SteveT

Michael Army:

JWP does not work for the city; he is a County Commissioner for Dallas County.  Are you insinuating he received some or all of his vehicles through the crooked County Constables?  I haven't heard that one before.

Guest
Guest

You know how I know you're new here?

Montemalone
Montemalone

Now, now.Everybody has to start sometime.

Phelps
Phelps

You haven't been reading my comments, then.  Others too.

Michael Army
Michael Army

PhelpsSo maybe it was you that shed some insight on the less than arms length transactions that landed JWP with the cars. 

Michael Army
Michael Army

Steve TMy bad.. As a county comm. he receives an annual compensation package in the neighborhood of 100k +/-.

On the cars. I am not insinuating although it wouldn't surprise. I am seekign a greater understanding of how he got those vehicles. I believe it was mentioned in one of Schutze's earlier stories or possibly in the comments following. At least one BMW and the Bentley/Rolls or whatever it was, were both forfeited as restitution by convicted inmates in the county jail. There was some type of title transfer in which JWP came into possesion of these vehicles. 

I'm curious to know the mechanism JWP used to acquire those vehicles. Was it through  the County Constable ? Did JWP bid and pay a sum for these vehicles ?  I was under the impression that forfeited or confiscated assets were auctioned off with the proceeds going into municipal or federal coffers.

For the record...
For the record...

Michael Army, regarding the acquisition mechanism, there are many ways that a vehicle may come under the county tax assessor-collector's vehicle titling authority. Auctions are just one of the mechanisms. It's technically legal in Texas to file a simple statement to the effect of having found an abandoned vehicle, and petition for clear title. Another approach is to submit only a bill of sale from someone who's not at all available, saying the title is irretrievably lost. (Bill of sale is the weakest form of ownership testamentary in Texas vehicle titling.)

JWP was treated unusually well in Dallas County, petitioning for clear title for at least half his vehicles, as per the un-paywalled DMN story linked below. 

Although legal under Texas law, most county tax assessor-collectors in Texas would not permit serial petitions of this kind, because it's so obvious. They are within their rights to refuse any titling under suspicious circumstances, and most do.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news...

Becca
Becca

another win for hot fudge fridays!

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

Schutze, you're so full of shit it makes a.. ummm... toilet.... look like a... OK, I got nothinBut I did enjoy telling you you're full of shitEven though I really don't believe that and in this case I imagine you're probably right on the money

The Derelict
The Derelict

Jim, there is a boxing gym right by Unfair's World Headquarters and Sunshine, where JWP picks up his dry cleaning in his ugly 'title issues' truck, presumably for free.  I know a good ref who has done Vegas fights and is local.  Let me know.  Personally, I think he'd kick your white ass but that doesn't mean I wouldn't root for you. 

Granny
Granny

I believe the correct term is "lily-white ass."

And I'd be rooting for Jim, too!

Michael Army
Michael Army

I'd really like to know how he got all those cars. If they were legally confiscated did he have to pay the city for them or whatever entity had ownership ?  I know this, if he makes 110K or 125K in a really good year legit doing the city's business. It's highly unlikely, he or anyone for that matter, could amass the property assets, auto's, cash, gold bars, fine watch's, etc without some questionable means. 

Watching
Watching

He never worked for the city.   He's a County Commissioner.  

Guest
Guest

"This will be an IRS case, to some significant degree, what's sometimes called a net worth case."

That makes sense.  It avoids the problems of proving that any particular payment/gift was tied to any particular decision, something that can be incredibly difficult to prove.

But... it also makes it much less likely they will follow the money upstream and prosecute some "rich white men" unless JWP flips.  It's illegal for JWP to fail to record income, but it isn't illegal to give JWP income that he fails to report.  That isn't an indictment of the prosecutors.  I think they are trying to put together the best case they can.       

Watching
Watching

If you give someone or pay someone more than $600 in 1 year, you are supposed to issue them a 1099.  In most cases, that excludes relatives.

Guest
Guest

Sure, and I'd bet that is exactly what they did, although I doubt JWP's name is on many of of the 1099s.  Just take a look at Jim's discussion of the real/front companies.  The "rich white men" make sure the paperwork is in order.  They have accounting staffs looking over their company's internal controls.  They don't do cash exchanges in church parking lots.  They do real deals with legitimate companies and people like JWP make sure they get their piece of the action later after the money has changed hands two or three times over.   

For example, assuming Perot, Jr. wants JWP to kill the inland port, he doesn't meet JWP to discuss it.  He never tells JWP what he wants, and he never offers JWP anything.  Instead, his people meet with JWP's people to discuss what Alliance can do for North Texas.  They show him the positive economic impact, give him a ride on a helicopter to see it, etc.  They tell him it's on shaky ground financially, there isn't room for two of these types of projects in the area.  They say Alliance is better than the inland port for a number of reasons.  A few weeks later, someone at one of Perot's other companies casually mentions he is looking for someone to pour some concrete here, or install some new sheet rock there, and they have had a hard time finding reliable contractors.  He ask JWP's people, "Do you know anyone who is reliable."  JWP's people tell Perot's people they've got some names.  There won't be any direct exchange of money between Perot, Jr. and JWP.  JWP will get his money from some sub contractor of a contractor that got paid by one of Perot's companies for doing legitimate work.  Did that sub contractor file a 1099 for what it gave to JWP?  Maybe, maybe not, but that's the sub contractor's problem, not Perot's.           

Rickpage
Rickpage

Right as rain. There are machines out there courting ways and means of completing or preventing a project. Trading in real estate options is also big since they are not a matter of public record. You know someone ends up with an option on a PD foe a pad at $10 per square foot that will be worth $100 if the PD goes through.

Mike
Mike

I'd bet $ to donuts that the people that donated to Commissioner Price's charities and campaigns documented every penny of it and likely put the transactions on a flash drives for easy FBI retrieval.  They have nothing to fear and know it.  The crime will be how this team of public servants turned that money into personal assets.  I doubt the reasons for original donations will ever arise.

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