An accounts payable audit revealed that four men had worked together to steal more than $5 million from Kinston, North Carolina-based Discovery Insurance, where one of the accused worked.
An investigation into the illegal activity by the North Carolina Department of Insurance found that the four men – Edward and Franklin Steed, Marvin Quinn, and Edward Waters – collaborated on the scheme. Their aim was to embezzle millions from the company by fraudulently writing checks from Discovery's accounts to bogus businesses. The AP audit discovered that from 2005 to 2011, Discovery employee Edward Steed wrote checks to the three other defendants, making up names for fake businesses or individuals. Once the checks were cashed, the four men split the money. Over a six-year period, the amount of embezzled funds totaled $5.3 million.
The audit and investigation were conducted after financial discrepancies were found in the company's records. All of the men have been indicted by a grand jury and are facing charges of felony conspiracy, embezzlement, corporate malfeasance, and obtaining property by false pretense. Edward Steed is also charged with extra counts of felony conspiracy for his role in writing and signing the checks.