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Auto Supplier Admits Role In Wake Schools Fraud Scheme

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RALEIGH, N.C. — An auto parts supplier admitted to its role in a massive fraud scheme involving the Wake County Public School System's transportation department Friday and was fined $3 million.

Wilson-based Barnes Motor & Parts chain agreed to pay a $2.5 million criminal fine and a $500,000 civil fine to the school system -- the largest settelement ever ordered by Wake County Judge Donald Stephens.

In pleading guilty, Barnes took responsibility for the actions of its employees -- former regional manager Bobby Browder and Connie Capps, a former manager at the company's Raleigh store.

In October 2005, Browder and Capps pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme that siphoned at least $3.8 million from the school system.

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