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Ex-Official Pleads Innocent in Durham Loan Scandal

Posted February 7, 2007

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— The former director of a federal small-business loan program pleaded not guilty Wednesday in connection with a 6-year-old fraud case.

Anita Bennett, 40, of Dangerfield Drive in Raleigh, was charged last year after authorities said she issued more than $800,000 in loans to nonexistent companies. Investigators said some of the money from the bogus loans was funneled back to her.

Bennett had been contracted by Durham in 1999 to run the federal loan program, which was designed to encourage small businesses to open in low-income areas. She was fired from her job in 2001.

She is charged with felonious conspiracy and obtained property in excess of $100,000 by false pretense. Her trial is set for Sept. 27.

Her husband and sister also have been charged in the case. Kathy Marie Fenner, 43, of Sunshine Road in Burgaw, and James Leroy Bennett II, 42, of Dangerfield Drive in Raleigh, face the same charges as Anita Bennett.

A fourth defendant, Carlton Olander Clark, 43, of Centra Villa Drive in Atlanta, reached a plea deal with prosecutors last month and agreed to testify against the Bennetts and Fenner.

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  • georgewilson11 Feb 9, 2007

    And I bet you are right esss !

  • superman Feb 8, 2007

    kevin-- worked in a prison for 30 years, dont remember a single person who admitted they were guilty Chew on that until dinner!
    She may be innocent and the facts will speak for themselves at the trial. but even if she is convicted she will continue to protest her innocence. That makes it easier for the bible carrying do-gooders to protest. And by the way-- the first thing a person does in prison, gets a bible and says he is saved

  • georgewilson11 Feb 8, 2007

    Scandal ? I Durham ? Again ?

  • Thomas Jefferson Feb 8, 2007

    Listen to yourselves-disgraceful.

  • BRUCEY BABY Feb 7, 2007


  • DOG Feb 7, 2007

    Wonder what qualified her for the job? Bet I know.

  • woody Feb 7, 2007

    it is true she has pleaded innocent
    but ao had everyone that helped jim black
    but in her case a 4 th person has agreed to testify against them so he wont be charged
    seems like maybe she is guilty

  • Ladybug Feb 7, 2007

    Just go to any Durham Co or City office and you can see for yourself how many workers appear to know what they're doing. Durham has made their bed, so now its now up to them Co. and City to clean up their own mess. Yes, the media is not always right, but most of the bad things that have come out have been true.

  • NYPD Feb 7, 2007

    She's as guilty as she is ugly!

  • kaecee Feb 7, 2007

    True, Durham has had their fair share of scandal. However, each city does. Unfortunately, the Triangle waits to tear up any story regarding Durham as the worst place in the world. The media gives you all news and you take it and draw assumptions about anything associated with the city. This lady is pleading innocent to the accusations. She may actuall be innocent, however, I think the jury will decide that. It's clear that they should not let any one of you all on a jury because she's already guilty and has not even told her side of the story. She's guilty because she worked in Durham or has association with Durham. Wrong attitude to take towards this ACCUSED person.