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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Friday, April 22, 2016

Corporate Executive Sentenced to Six Months in Federal Prison and Fined $5,000

Defendant Convicted at Trial for Lying to FBI Special Agents During Public Corruption Investigation Involving Dallas County Commissioner

DALLAS — Helen Tantillo, 59, of Austin, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas to serve six months in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, and pay a $5,000 fine.  Tantillo was convicted in January 2016 in federal court in Austin on an indictment charging two counts of lying to Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the public corruption investigation of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and others.  The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas and U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., of the Western District of Texas.

Tantillo was an executive at BearingPoint when the firm won a contract in 2005 to digitize Dallas County records.  She will remain on bond; no reporting date was set. 

At trial, the jury found that Tantillo lied in an interview with the FBI in June 2014, when she falsely claimed that a temporary $10,000 increase in Christian Campbell’s consulting fees was to make a charitable donation to the favorite charity of another Dallas County Commissioner.  Contrary to her false statement, Tantillo knew that the increase was at least, in part, in order to pay Kathy Nealy.

The jury also determined that Tantillo told a second lie to FBI agents in that same interview when she claimed that, after an earlier interview with FBI agents, she called her former BearingPoint supervisor, who supposedly reminded her that the charitable donation was the reason for Campbell’s increased monthly payment.  Phone records and other evidence at trial demonstrated that this call never happened. 

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Walt M. Junker and J. Nicholas Bunch and Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller prosecuted the case.

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Public Corruption
Updated April 22, 2016