Grand jury indicts two former NCCU officials
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 15:09
DURHAM – A grand jury has indicted the former provost at N.C. Central University for embezzlement and larceny and indicted a former program director for embezzlement.
The Durham County Grand Jury indicted former Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Beverly Washington Jones on two counts of embezzlement and one count of larceny for allegedly taking $61,959.
The grand jury also indicted Nannie (Nan) A. Coleman, the former executive director of N.C. Central University’s Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium, on five counts of embezzlement for allegedly taking $137,330.99 from the consortium.
More than a year ago, the N.C. Office of the State Auditor released an audit of grant monies that the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium (HMCUC) had received from state and federal agencies, individual and private organizations.
The first date of offense for Jones was from July 1, 2004, to Feb. 2, 2005, one indictment stated.
“Jones was serving in the fiduciary capacity as the executive director for HMCUC and was responsible for collecting and managing grant monies for HMCUC,” the indictment states.
“She served in this capacity until January 2005 when she was named provost for North Carolina Central University. At that time she relinquished those duties to Ms. Nannie Coleman, and then Beverly Jones intentionally, fraudulently and dishonestly received and used HMCUC’s grant monies for some purposes other than for which she originally received the funds,” the indictment reads. “The value of the property taken was $10,128.00.”
The second date of offense was between December 2008 and October 2009. The indictment states she received unauthorized check payments from an unauthorized bank account, which held grant monies belonging to HMCUC.
The consortium was unaware of the unauthorized bank account and unauthorized check payments and did not consent to Beverly Jones taking and carrying of the grant monies.
“Beverly Jones knew she was not entitled to the HMCUC’s grant monies which were for the purpose of serving underprivileged children,” the indictment reads. “The grant monies taken amounted to $38,831.
The third indictment states the date of offense was between October 2005 and September 2006. It alleges Jones took $13,000 in grant monies.
Coleman’s five indictments state that in her capacity as executive director of HMCUC, “she intentionally fraudulently and dishonestly used grant monies for some purpose other than for which she received it.”
The alleged embezzlement, which was divided in the indictments into five amounts of money and five time periods, began in Jan. 14, 2005, and continued until Feb. 11, 2010.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation investigated the allegations in the audit, and Special Agent Tammy Forsythe testified before the grand jury about the SBI’s findings. The charges are being prosecuted by the N.C. Attorney General’s Office rather than the Durham County District Attorney’s Office, and Senior Deputy Attorney General James J. Coman is the special prosecutor on the cases.
The State Auditors report released last year stated that it found that more than $1 million had been diverted from NCCU.
The consortium was designed to close the achievement gap and help minority students across the state, but it has since been discontinued.
The audit said that in April 2004, Coleman opened a private bank account and began diverting money from the program. There was no system to track the payments from the school districts, so no one noticed the money was missing.
Coleman said she used the bank account to pay for program expenses, according to the audit, but the report showed that payments were made for car repairs, clothing and hotel rooms. She admitted she had received travel reimbursements from the account but said someone forged the other checks using her name, the audit stated.
The bank account was not discovered until after former Chancellor Charlie Nelms removed Jones as provost in April 2008 and after Coleman was fired in August 2009 for poor performance.