WRAL Investigates

NC minority chamber chief charged with fraud

Posted May 26, 2011 1:09 p.m. EDT
Updated May 26, 2011 4:53 p.m. EDT

— The head of one of the largest minority chambers of commerce in the Southeast has been arrested on a fraud charge.

Dwayne Brandon Trainer, 26, was charged with obtaining property by false pretense and was released after posting a $3,000 bond.

Trainer, director of the North Carolina Black Chamber of Commerce, has been at the center of a recent WRAL News investigation because he is wanted in Clay County, Mo., on a charge of felony theft.

He is accused of acting as a mortgage broker and taking $1,500 from a woman whose family was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. After his 2006 arrest, he posted bond and left Missouri and then resurfaced in Raleigh three years later.

Trainer told WRAL Investigates earlier this month that he "simply forgot" about his outstanding charges in Missouri.

The latest charge involves an alleged attempt to deposit a check for $1,005 from a closed SunTrust Bank account last December and then withdraw the money from a personal account, according to an arrest warrant.

The account belonged to the N.C. Black Chamber of Commerce. It's unknown what happened to membership fees from the chamber's more than 200 members, who each paid $300 to join the group.

Since a WRAL Investigates report earlier this month, the chamber's website has been taken down. Trainer's personal and professional social networking sites, which were continually updated, have gone still, and a cellphone number he provided to contact him for an interview has been disconnected.

The U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, where Trainer served as a board member and treasurer, has also removed his biography from its website.

Trainer has a June 15 court date on the Raleigh fraud charge and a July court date in Orange County on an out-of-state fugitive from justice charge.