Exec found guilty of lying to FBI in Price bribery probe

Exec found guilty of lying to FBI in Price bribery probe

AUSTIN – A federal jury found a tech firm executive guilty Friday of lying to FBI agents about her role in an alleged scheme to pay bribes to Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price.

Helena Tantillo, 59, faces up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks set her sentencing for April 22 and allowed her to remain free until then.

She had no visible reaction to the unanimous verdict and left the courthouse without talking to reporters.

“We are disappointed in the verdict, but we respect the verdict,” her attorney, Mike Gibson, said. “It’s a decision we have to live with.” He declined to say if she would now cooperate with the government.

Prosecutors and FBI agents left the courtroom without comment Friday.

Jurors took less than four hours to reach a decision.

“It was very split when we went in there,” said Gerimy Lambert, an AT&T U-Verse employee in Austin who served as jury foreman. “We had to go through details to finally get answers, the guilty verdicts. There was a lot of people who had reasonable doubt, but as we started breaking it down, looking at the facts, it became clear to us, or we wouldn’t have come to that decision.”