Local News

Former executive at NC mental health agency charged with bribery, fraud

Posted May 25, 2016 2:56 p.m. EDT

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— A former executive for a regional mental health agency in eastern North Carolina was indicted Tuesday on charges of accepting bribes, fraud and money laundering.

Bob Canupp served as chief financial officer for Eastpointe Human Services, a government-funded managed care organization serving a dozen counties, from Edgecombe to Robeson. He was fired in 2013 amid an internal investigation into the agency's spending.

A state audit issued last June accused Canupp of taking more than a half-million dollars in illegal kickbacks and using taxpayer money for personal expenses, including repairs to his fishing boat.

Canupp approved more than $1 million in payments to two part-time contractors – one of whom was unlicensed – for renovations at the agency's offices, and those contractors then wrote personal checks back to Canupp totaling $547,595, according to the audit.

The audit also determined that Canupp used agency credit cards to rack up $117,549 in questionable charges, including a $4,500 down payment for repair work on his fishing boat and $935 for fish finder software. He also bought gift cards totaling $933 at Dick's Sporting Goods and $2,950 at Walmart.

Canupp also used agency funds to buy a $15,900 tractor and a $2,700 trenching machine, both of which were kept at his home, the audit found. Another $143,041 in state funds was spent on two luxury pickup trucks and a Buick Enclave driven by Canupp, Eastpointe's chief executive and a maintenance supervisor.

The 47-count indictment against Canupp also charges contractor Ronnie Davis with conspiracy, bribery and fraud.

Eastpointe has an annual budget of $310 million, most of it paid by the state and federal governments through the Medicaid program.