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June 17, 10

NEWS / Another Defendant Sentenced in Dallas City Hall Corruption Case


Jibreel A. Rashad Sentenced to 57 Months in Federal Prison

DALLAS—Jibreel A. Rashad, aka Vernon Cooks, Jr., was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to 57 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Following a week-long trial, Rashad was convicted by a federal jury in February 2010 of conspiracy to commit extortion, related to his role in what has become known as the Dallas City Hall Corruption case. Judge Lynn ordered that Rashad can serve 12 months of this sentence concurrently with the 135-month federal prison sentence he is presently serving for his conviction as a leader in a mortgage fraud conspiracy.

In the largest corruption case that Dallas has ever seen, Rashad, and 13 public officials and their associates, were charged in a 31-count indictment in October 2007 with various offenses related to a bribery and extortion scheme involving affordable housing developments in the Dallas area. All but one of the defendants in that case have been convicted; a July 12, 2010, trial date, before Judge Lynn, has been set for the last defendant, Ronald W. Slovacek. Most of the convicted defendants have been sentenced.

During Rashad’s trial, the government presented evidence that Rashad participated in a conspiracy with co-defendants, Don Hill and his Plan Commissioner D’Angelo Lee, to extort thousands of dollars from James R. “Bill” Fisher, a low-income housing developer and FBI informant.

In late 2004, Rashad, Lee and co-defendant Rickey Robertson, a car dealer, partnered to form RA-MILL, a sham development company. Lee’s interest in RA-MILL was hidden. Rashad and Robertson pressured Fisher to hire RA-MILL for construction contracts, even though they were unqualified. They made extortionate demands on Fisher for cash payments and construction contracts on Fisher’s affordable housing projects. When Fisher didn’t meet their extortion demands to their satisfaction, Hill and Lee, using their official positions, caused the City Council and the City Plan and Zoning Commission to postpone consideration of the developer’s zoning change application for a proposed tax credit project located in District 5.

The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad Meacham, Steven Fahey, Sarah Saldaña, Chris Stokes, and Leigha Simonton prosecuted the case.

http://dallas.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel10/dl061510.htm

 




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