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Justice News

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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Federal Jury Convicts Corporate Executive for Lying to Federal Agents During Public Corruption Investigation Involving Dallas County Commissioner

DALLAS — Following a nearly three-day trial in federal court in Austin, Texas before U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, a federal jury convicted a corporate executive for lying to Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the public corruption investigation of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and others, announced 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.

Helena Tantillo, 59, of Austin, was an executive at BearingPoint when the firm won a contract in 2005 to digitize Dallas County records.  The jury’s verdict today found Tantillo guilty on all counts of the indictment returned by an Austin federal grand jury in June 2015, which charged her with two counts of making false statements to law enforcement.  She faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each count, and will remain on bond pending sentencing, set for April 22, 2016, in Austin.

The evidence at trial showed 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 are conducting the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Walt M. Junker and J. Nicholas Bunch and Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller are handling the prosecution.

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Public Corruption
Updated January 22, 2016