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Ex-congressman serving prison time at home

Posted April 13, 2009

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— Former North Carolina Rep. Frank Ballance has been released from prison but is serving the rest of his four-year federal sentence under home confinement.

Court documents show that Ballance, 67, has also filed a lawsuit claiming that the warden of the Federal Prison Camp at Butner violated his constitutional rights by denying furloughs.

The government has asked that the lawsuit be thrown out since Ballance is no longer in the Butner prison, according to court documents. Ballance has two weeks to decide whether to continue with the lawsuit.

The former Democratic congressman from Warrenton pleaded guilty in 2004 to diverting taxpayer money to his family, law firm and church through the Hyman Foundation, a non-profit drug treatment center that he helped start. He began serving his sentence in December 2005, but sentences can be reduced for good behavior.

Community correction manager Gary Moore, with the Federal Bureau of Prisons official, said Monday that Ballance is scheduled to complete his term June 23, followed by two years of parole. He was released from prison March 23.

Moore said that Ballance is wearing an electronic surveillance bracelet that prevents him from leaving his home. He must check with his parole officer before leaving the house.

The charges stemmed from accusations that Ballance funneled $2.3 million in state money from the Hyman Foundation and used more than $100,000 for personal and family use. Prosecutors said Ballance used foundation money to pay his legal bills, give $20,000 to his son, Garey Ballance, for a Lincoln Navigator; pay his daughter $5,000 for computer services she didn't perform; and to share $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.

While in prison, Ballance has claimed innocence, saying that he pleaded guilty because investigators were intimidating his mother and he wanted to save the career of his son, who was a judge at the time. Ballance has claimed that prosecutors threatened to charge his son with a felony instead of a misdemeanor unless he pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

The younger 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.

Ballance served in the General Assembly before being elected to Congress in 2002. He resigned in June 2004, citing his ill health.

30 Comments

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  • alx Apr 14, 2009

    The guy is a criminal who is getting special treatment that none of us would ever get.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Apr 14, 2009

    Why is WRAL even giving this common crimnal any more air time?

  • westral Apr 13, 2009

    The joke is on us, the public and the taxpayer. He's at home with plenty of time to count his money he stole.

  • HangOn Apr 13, 2009

    A common crook. Would you or I get this treatment? Oh yeah, we gotta make room for all those dangerous, criminal pot smokers.

  • beth Apr 13, 2009

    Now it's time to let Jim Black go. Neither are/were a threat to others' lives. Let them serve their time at home.

  • Milkman Apr 13, 2009

    Hey, crime does pay. He took $2.3M and has to pay back $260-ish thousand. He got to keep 90%, and probably didn't pay any taxes on any of it. He'll probably get plenty from his lawsuit too.

    We need to throw all the corrupt politicians under the jail, but then the jails would be a lot taller.

  • drnc Apr 13, 2009

    I thought Frank died a while back. Glad to hear he's doing well.

  • blackdog Apr 13, 2009

    ...FURLOUGH ?!?!?!? ....from PRISON?!?!?!? AND sue... I had to read this three times questioning my brain. I'm correct...INCREDULOUS !

  • dws Apr 13, 2009

    Do the time
    Drop the whine

  • ncsufamily24 Apr 13, 2009

    "Ballance, 67, has also filed a lawsuit claiming that the warden of the Federal Prison Camp at Butner violated his constitutional rights by denying furloughs."

    Furloughs being denied? Lawsuit? Ballance should still be in prison and his son should never be allowed to practice law nor sit behind a judge's bench again. Disgraceful....

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