WRAL Investigates

State closes investigation of dead Dunn businessman

Posted March 16, 2011 12:12 p.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2011 4:05 p.m. EDT

— The state Department of Insurance has closed its investigation into a Harnett County businessman who some people claim ran a $40 million Ponzi scheme.

Insurance investigators audited Ray Mulkey Jr.'s businesses and determined that no one else was involved in any fraudulent activities, officials said.

Mulkey, 63, was found dead in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Aug. 16. Authorities ruled his death a suicide.

He owned or was a partner in four companies that dealt with financing and real estate. Creditors contend that he used the businesses to attract investors, promising them 12 percent interest on their money.

Dozens of individuals and businesses, including several banks, have filed more than $40 million in claims against his estate. The estate listed $8 million in assets, meaning most investors won't recover their money.

Mulkey was a founding board member of Dunn-based New Century Bank, and the bank had to write off about $11 million in fraudulent loans linked to Mulkey.

No criminal charges are likely in the case, DOI officials said.