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Prosecutors: Nothing Illegal In MCNC Stock Deal

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Prosecutors say there was nothingillegal in a stock deal that created millions of dollars in profitfor two officials at MCNC.

The agency, formerly called the Microelectronics Center of NorthCarolina, spun off a company that later was sold, making$50,000 in stock worth four million dollars.

Two officials each bought $50,000 worth of stock inthe new company in 1999 and collected their large profit monthslater when the company was sold.

Legislators, state officials and MCNC board members questionedwhether the deal was right and whether the profits came at theexpense of state taxpayers who had paid to create the MCNC.

Willoughby, in an interview, said that the minutes from the MCNCboard meetings made it clear that Smith and Kress were going to buytheir Cronos stock from MCNC's holdings.

MCNC has a board meeting Monday to discuss the results of aninternal probe.

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