Fmr. Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway Sentenced to 56 Months in Bribery Scheme
Former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway was sentenced this afternoon to 4 years and 8 months in federal prison for public corruption, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Councilmember Caraway pleaded guilty on August 9 to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. He resigned his seat on the Dallas City Council later that same day.
“Over the past year and a half, the Northern District of Texas has been relentless in rooting out public corruption, and we will continue to prioritize corruption cases,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “This case should serve as a warning to public officials across North Texas: If you betray the trust of your constituents, we will prosecute you. We’ll prosecute the bribe payers. And we’ll prosecute those who attempt to conceal bribe payments. Anyone who fosters a kickback culture, prioritizing financial interest ahead of constituent rights, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to plea papers, Councilmember Caraway, now 66, admits he accepted roughly $450,000 in bribes from Force Multiplier Solutions CEO Robert Leonard, an entrepreneur who sold faulty stop-arm cameras for use on Dallas County school busses.
In return for these kickbacks, Councilmember Caraway voted to promote and continue Dallas County Schools’ stop-arm camera program, which relied on equipment sold by Force Multiplier. He also promoted Mr. Leonard’s planned real estate development in South Dallas.
The majority of bribes from Mr. Leonard to Councilmember Caraway – which the former Mayor Pro Tem admits he omitted from his tax returns – were funneled through a sham consulting firm run by Mr. Leonard’s business associate, Slater Swartwood. The remainder was doled out in the form of custom-made suits, fully funded trips, casino chips, fake loans, funeral expenses, and cash payments.
Both Mr. Leonard and Mr. Swartwood have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.
Dallas County Schools, which collected property taxes to purchase stop-arm cameras for its fleet of about 2,000 busses, was shuttered in November 2017, saddled with approximately $103 million in debt.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation unit conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Wirmani, NDTX’s Public Corruption Coordinator, Marcus Busch, NDTX’s Fraud Section Chief, Chad Meacham, and Joseph Magliolo prosecuted the case.