State News

State launches criminal probe of dead Dunn businessman

Posted October 13, 2010 7:45 a.m. EDT
Updated October 13, 2010 11:46 a.m. EDT

— The state Department of Insurance has begun a criminal investigation into the businesses of a Harnett County businessman who killed himself two months ago.

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

His estate filings show he signed his will a week before his death.

Dozens of individuals and businesses, including several banks, have since filed more than $40 million in claims against his estate.

A Fayetteville attorney who represents several creditors has accused Mulkey of running a Ponzi scheme and says it will be difficult for most to recover the money they invested with Mulkey.

The estate listed $8 million in assets.

The debts caused the DOI to audit Mulkey’s insurance businesses in Dunn and Fayetteville. Department spokeswoman Kristin Milam said the criminal investigation began after the audit was finished.