UPDATE: McCoy says Grisanti's troubles not related to Neilson

By Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

OXFORD – Dino Grisanti’s impending guilty plea to federal charges has nothing to do with FBI agent Hal Neilson, says Neilson’s attorney.

Christi R. McCoy of Oxford said emphatically a few minutes ago that her client’s case and Grisanti’s are two different issues.

Neilson insists he’s innocent of federal accusations relating to his financial interests in the local FBI office building on University Avenue.

Earlier today, two other Oxford sources said the cases were connected.

But McCoy says they’re misinformed.

Wednesday, Grisanti’s name appeared on the U.S. District Court’s docket for Northern Mississippi, and an Oct. 21 hearing was set for him to plead guilty to an unspecified charge.

Exactly what he’ll plead guilty to isn’t public information yet. The contacts spoke on condition that their names not be published.

The Oxford U.S. Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment this morning.

It’s also possible Grisanti’s legal troubles eminate from other business dealings.

State business records show he had two automobile dealerships and is an incorporator with the Oxford University Bank, as well as connected with real estate businesses.

Neilson was indicted in early January, accused of lying on financial reports about his interest in the Oxford building, which houses the FBI. He is set for trial Nov. 8 in Oxford.

Grisanti and local real estate businessman John N. Covington are listed on state records of C&G Properties LLC, which built and then managed the building at 2109 University Ave.

Neilson joined them later in the partnership.

Covington’s business office was contacted but has yet to respond to the Daily Journal.

Grisanti is represented by Ashland attorney Tony Farese.

Grisanti, who lived in Oxford, reportedly went back to Memphis where his family operates some popular restaurants.

• Come back to NEMS360.com or read Friday’s Daily Journal to see what develops with this story.

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