Local News

Investigators Search For Zebulon Attorney

Posted February 10, 2004

— Thousands of dollars might be missing as well as a Zebulon lawyer who may know where to find the money.

Zebulon police are trying to find local attorney and former Zebulon town manager Jonathan Koffa. A manufactured housing dealer, who did not want to be identified, claimed Koffa wrote her a worthless check for $72,727. Police are also investigating two other cases, but landlords at Koffa's Zebulon office said there may be more.

Landlord Chad Ray said Koffa ended his lease in December, but at least 15 to 20 clients have come through the door looking for him.

"They hadn't either gotten their visa or real estate transactions that they had a closing or whatever. The money was not wired," he said.

"The talk on the street is that this could be as high as $2 million, but all of those cases are hearsay right now. We're looking at those cases to try to put it together," said Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth.

Koffa reportedly left for his native Liberia to help with the transitional government, but a contractor working on Koffa's Raleigh home said he was back and that he saw him last week.

Authorities said they may have to seek outside help.

"Obviously, if we find that he is out of the country -- Liberia is out of the reach of the Zebulon Police Department -- then in that case, we'll have to contact the FBI and ask them for assistance with him," Hayworth said.

WRAL left messages with Koffa's wife, but she did not return those calls. The contractor said there was a fire at the home and the family was living elsewhere right now.

Koffa was also the Rolesville town attorney until recently. The town manager said there were no problems with his work.

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