Following audit, Raleigh nonprofit under criminal investigation - WNCN: News, Weather

Following audit, Raleigh nonprofit under criminal investigation

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A Raleigh non-profit organization that receives taxpayer funding is the subject of a criminal investigation.  An audit released by the city of Raleigh last week revealed improper financial management at the Raleigh Business and Technology Center.

Read the audit

The city allocates $162,000 a year for the program.  A city audit alleges possible financial crimes by some board members including missing documentation for checks totaling more than $100,000 and hundreds of thousands of dollars more that went to third parties, again, without proper documentation.  That includes $290,000 paid to an organization co-founded by former executive director Bob Robinson. 

What's more, the audit revealed the RBTC lost its tax-exempt status in 2012 after managers failed to file 990 tax forms for three years.  The audit showed the RBTC now owes $57,500 in state and federal taxes.

Raleigh Police executed a search warrant on Tuesday, seizing documents and computers belonging to RBTC board members.

"After going through some people's computers, I think they'll find some real stuff," RBTC board chairman Lawrence Wray said.

The former assistant city manager for Raleigh says he went straight to police when he learned about the program's financial irregularities.

"I'm not at liberty to say what I think about it," Wray said, "other than what the audit said."

The Center was founded in 2000 as a way to help spur economic growth in Southeast Raleigh by offering training, discounted office space and other tools to people who live there.

Raleigh Police will not comment on whether board members will face criminal charges, but at the very least, it appears the program is ending.  Mayor Nancy McFarlane announced the city was terminating its contract with the RBTC at the end of July.  She says the city will look at starting a new business incubator program within six months.

Wray hopes the city reconsiders.

"I want them to understand," he said, "that it's not the program that is guilty."

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:18:26 GMT
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.