Middleman Who Funneled Bribes to Dallas School Bus Agency Officials in Corruption Scandal Gets Prison Time

This story will be updated:When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Louisiana coast, Slater Washburn Swartwood Sr. and his family found themselves among the multitudes whose lives fell into emotional and financial turmoil. Swartwood, born into a family of lawyers and judges, said he turned to an old friend for help. Bob Leonard, 71, needed someone to handle real estate matters and agreed to hire the desperate Swartwood. But prosecutors say the Louisiana businessman had a more urgent task in mind for Swartwood: to funnel nearly $3 million in bribe payments to Dallas public officials in exchange for a lucrative school bus contract. Swartwood, 76, wired the money using his various companies as a pass-through, his court records say.Swartwood agreed to cooperate when FBI agents paid him a visit. He wore a camera to ensnare his co-conspirators and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. For that, U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn on Tuesday sentenced Swartwood to 18 months in prison.   Continue reading...

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