— Federal authorities are investigating whether a daughter of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin helped launder money for her ex-husband, who has been sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in a large drug dealing operation.
Kai Franklin, 34, handled tens of thousands of dollars from cocaine sales in 2004 and 2005, according to court records and testimony last month in South Carolina, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday.
The allegations surfaced at an April 17 hearing in U.S. District Court in Greenville, S.C., at which a judge sentenced Franklin’s ex-husband, Tremayne Graham, to life in prison. Graham, 33, admitted his role in shipping at least 1,000 kilograms of Mexican cocaine from Los Angeles to Atlanta and South Carolina.
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Franklin twice received bags of drug money — one containing $25,000, the other $20,000 — at the direction of Graham, one of his co-defendants testified. In addition, another defendant said, Franklin received portions of $150,000 in drug money invested in an airport concessions company run by her father, David Franklin, the mayor’s former husband.
Federal agents said in court they have established a paper trail of cash transfers from Graham to Franklin in the seven months he was a fugitive.
Franklin divorced Graham in 2005. Her lawyer, James Dearing, said she would have no comment.
Authorities have not filed charges against Franklin, nor have they presented all the evidence against her. Much of the testimony concerning her came from defendants in the drug case, who cooperated with investigators in exchange for lighter sentences. ——— Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, www.ajc.com