Local Politics

Ballance completes federal sentence

Posted June 22, 2009
Updated July 7, 2009

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Former North Carolina Congressman Frank Ballance on Tuesday completed a four-year sentence for using a nonprofit to divert taxpayer money to his family, law firm and church.

Ballance was released from the federal prison in Butner two months ago and finished his sentence under home confinement. He still must serve two years of probation.

The former Democratic congressman from Warrenton pleaded guilty in 2004 to funneling $2.3 million in state funds through the Hyman Foundation, a nonprofit drug treatment center that he helped start, to his family, law firm and church.

Prosecutors said Ballance used more than $100,000 to pay his legal bills, helped his son buy a Lincoln Navigator, paid his daughter for computer services she didn't perform and shared $143,250 with his mother to pay for community programs.

As part of his sentence, Ballance agreed to repay about $62,000 and to forfeit $203,000 in a bank escrow account for to the foundation.

Ballance continues to maintain his innocence. He has said he pleaded guilty because investigators were intimidating his mother and because he wanted to save the career of his son, Garey Ballance, who was a judge at the time.

He told WRAL News Tuesday that he's written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to complain about what he still considers an unfair case against him.

Garey Ballance served eight months in prison for misdemeanor failing to report $20,000 in income from the foundation on a federal tax return. He was also disbarred until 2010.

At age 67, Frank Ballance appears to be healthy, and he said he used his time behind bars to rest and learn computer skills.

He said he wants to make his remaining years useful ones, and he plans to form another foundation, called Redeemed, to rehabilitate drug users and keep them out of prison and to work to free people he believes were wrongly convicted.

Supporters have begun circulating fliers promoting a Freedom Rally next month in Frank Ballance's honor.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • superman Jun 23, 2009

    The sentence for tax evasion is not based on the amount! People have also gone to prison for lying to the Grand Jury.

  • rayzer Jun 23, 2009

    This paragon of virtue will probably be sent back to represent his district ASAP. The Marion Barry phenomenon.

  • domotamasi Jun 23, 2009

    I hope that Garey Ballance's disbarment will never allow him to sit in judgement of citizens ever again in our court system as an appointed or an elected official. Unfortunately, I fear that the same mindset exists that kept repeatedly returning Marion Barry to power in DC even after all his illegal activities came out. The people of this country deserve better from our officials. Now, let's focus on Easley.

  • Sidekick Jun 23, 2009

    Polotics does not make one a crook. They were crooks before they got into polotics. It is in their nature. Their political 'powers' gave them an outlet to exercise their crookedness. And for some reason they feel that they can be crooked and as long as they are an elected official and it will be ok. If the republicans had been in power for some many decades as the democrats have, that same mentality would pervade them as well. It's all up to the individual to do the right thing.

  • Chole Jun 23, 2009

    If he completed his sentence, so should Jim Black!!

  • WRALblows Jun 23, 2009

    Someone didn't casually come across the misuse and misappropriation of this money four years ago. Many, many other politicians have probably misused much more money than this. I speculate he wasn't paying the right people off and/or political enemies found out and took advantage. The fact that they went after his son, a sitting judge, so aggressively for failing to report $20K on a tax return is sorta evidence someone had it out for them. I doubt you'll find too many more people in the country who've served 8 months for misdemeanor tax evasion on approximately $500 of unpaid taxes.

  • Adelinthe Jun 23, 2009

    I don't believe he's out already.

    Legislators should be held to higher standards because they're the ones who pass the laws, and when they break them, they should be thrown under the jail.

    God bless.


  • tatermommy52 Jun 23, 2009

    'Former North Carolina (Democrat) Congressman Frank Ballance', with a little editing the story is finished.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 23, 2009

    So, the church paid all the illegal money back, right? If not, why not?

    "Right or wrong, we always lead by example."

  • tgw Jun 23, 2009

    Shame is that Mr Balance will probably run for re-election AND WIN in Warren Co. Some Dems. just like electing CROOKS.

    He'd fit right in at the Legislature where Dems are the only ones recognized. Republicans do not exist in Raleigh in the eyes of the crocked Dems.

    2010 is coming!!