Two university officials indicted after AP audit finds embezzlement

Two former employees of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) have been indicted by a grand jury after an accounts payable audit discovered that nearly $200,000 in federal funds had been taken from a program run by the school.

The AP audit results stated that Beverly Jones, who served as the university's provost and vice president of academic affairs, and Nannie Coleman, the former executive director of Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium (HMCUC), participated in a scheme to divert funds from the program by creating unauthorized bank accounts. Prosecutors allege that both women wrote fraudulent checks from HMCUC's accounts, and the illegal activity took place between July 2004 and February 2010.

Jones faces two counts of embezzlement and one count of larceny, while Coleman is charged with five counts of embezzlement, with all charges being federal. HMCUC receives funds from the state and U.S. government to help minority schools and students in North Carolina. It is based at NCCU, as the university serves as the consortium's headquarters and fiscal agent, reports QCity Metro.

Jones was the executive director for HMCUC, but left the position in early 2005 after she was named to the position of NCCU's provost. Coleman took over Jones' duties for the organization and then worked with her to divert the money from its accounts, investigators allege.

"At that time she (Jones) 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 states.

Coleman said that she used the unauthorized account to pay for expenses for HMCUC, although personal purchases were found by the AP audit. Additionally, Coleman claims someone else forged her signature on fraudulent checks.

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