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Ex-NCCU administrators indicted on embezzlement charges

Posted September 6, 2012

— Two former North Carolina Central University administrators were indicted Wednesday on charges of embezzlement – a year after a state audit found they allegedly used an unauthorized bank account to divert more than $1 million from a state program.

Nan Coleman, the former director of the university-based Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium, was indicted on five counts of embezzlement.

The program's former executive director, Beverly Washington Jones, was indicted on two counts of larceny and one count of embezzlement.

The June 2011 audit found that Coleman diverted money from the consortium to a private account between 2004 and 2009, including $287,000 for herself and $62,000 for Jones, who also served as provost.

Coleman was fired in August 2009, and Jones was removed as provost in April 2008.

N.C. Central served as the fiscal agent for the HMCUC, a state-mandated consortium that devised strategies to boost academic achievement by minority students, and it received more than $13 million in state funding and grants over the past decade.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the university applauded the Office of the State Auditor and the State Bureau of Investigation for "conducting a thorough examination of HMCUC."

"NCCU takes seriously the matter of compliance and fiscal management and will continue to hold all personnel and departments accountable," the statement said. "The university is pleased that this matter has been fully investigated."

Coleman's attorney, Rhonda Young, did not have a comment Thursday afternoon, but Jones' attorney, Butch Williams said his client "looks forward to her day in court when all of the facts will truly come out."

According to the audit, Coleman said that she used the private account for easy access to pay for program expenses, but auditors noted that payments were made for such non-program items as car repairs, clothing and hotel rooms.

Jones told auditors that she received travel reimbursements from the private account but maintained that other checks were forged using her name, the audit states.

Auditors also noted that almost $600,000 was deposited into the private account between December 2008 and August 2009, after N.C. Central officials responded to complaints by cracking down on how the consortium was handling its payroll.

24 Comments

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  • Tarheel born Sep 7, 12:41 p.m.

    Going to ask again.....where are the mug shots??? And why was this not posted the first time around WRAL. We, as taxpayers have a right to see those that stole from us. If not mug shots then pictures posted in year books, etc.

    Gitter dun......

  • superman Sep 7, 10:41 a.m.

    Aint it wonderful and a sense of pride and justice to see black people stealing money from a program that is meant to help black people. Stealing from a bro is a real blow. How can we progress when we have black people stealing from each other.

  • ospreysilver Sep 7, 10:34 a.m.

    Every year some executive for state, unviersity, or local government get caught for embezzlement. My question is this, why are'nt their superiors labeled with some level of fault, poor oversight, imcompetence, or whatever? Executives get paid 5-20X more than the common worker, yet they don't get blamed whent things go bad.

  • Karmageddon Sep 7, 8:26 a.m.

    "Diverted MORE than one million dollars"? How much more?
    Do they even know?
    They only charged those two with embezzeling a little over $300,000
    Where did the rest of it all go?

  • claudnc Sep 6, 7:18 p.m.

    Beachboater...you are so correct everything is supposed to be equal but its not. We are 40 yrs out of Jim Crow and Segregation.. Schools were segregated and folks were dealing with second hand schools, second hand books and second hand information and you expect folks to be on the same playing field in 40+ years? If we were running a 800meter race and I gave you a 400m headstart.. at what point do I even break ground? forget catching up! So HBCU's were founded because we were not allowed to attend universities and institutions of higher learning.. and now that we want to keep them open and continue to educate.. we shall!

  • Tawny Sep 6, 6:43 p.m.

    Are UNC-Ch and NCSU considered to be "separate race-based" programs? NCCU has a diverse student population.

  • meeper Sep 6, 6:42 p.m.

    Why even bother. Nothing will be done. It never is with criminals in Durham's education and government. Just look at the past track record in prosecuting these criminals.
    A slap on the wrist and the money never gets paid back.

  • beachboater Sep 6, 6:31 p.m.

    Which one of the HBCU was in the news sometime back for similar problems with the budget? Was it NCCU or was it Shaw? I don't remember.

    But, like Davy Crocket said, why do we need separate programs (universities) for minorities in 2012? Everything is supposed to be equal and nobody should get preferencial treatment. Why is there a difference in achievement between minorities and the "majority?" Enquiring minds would like to know.

  • doggypoos Sep 6, 6:24 p.m.

    Took almost five years to bring up charges and then right before announcing it in the news the chancellor retires. Curious of the real stuff going on in the University? Seems like all UNC universities statewide are being mismanaged.

  • westernwake1 Sep 6, 5:34 p.m.

    So much for financial control at our state universities...

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