Local News

Money stolen from Durham visitors bureau bank account

Posted October 30, 2008 10:57 a.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2008 3:57 p.m. EDT

— Federal agents are investigating the suspected theft of $78,000 from the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau, authorities said Thursday.

Reyn Bowman, president of the visitors bureau, said employees noticed in July 2007 that about $78,000 was missing from an account the agency has with Cardinal State Bank. The money had been transferred to a Washington Mutual account in California, and most of it had been withdrawn from that account, he said.

Employees believe they caught the theft the day after the money was taken out of the agency's account, Bowman said.

The Secret Service has been investigating the unauthorized transfer for more than a year, said Robert Trumbo, resident agent-in-charge of the Secret Service's Raleigh office.

Bowman said the FBI also is investigating the theft. FBI officials said they couldn't confirm or deny any ongoing investigation.

Investigators determined no visitors bureau employee was responsible for the transfer, Bowman said.

Cardinal State Bank helped the visitors bureau recover more than $20,000, and the agency filed an insurance claim for the rest of the money, Bowman said.