Auto Service World
News   January 26, 2006   by Auto Service World

North Carolina Auto Parts Company To Plead Guilty of Defrauding Schools


A North Carolina automotive parts supplier that was indicted Tuesday on charges connected to a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme will plead guilty, according to the company’s attorney.
Stephen Smith, the attorney for the Barnes Motor & Parts chain, said that his client would take responsibility for the actions of its employees — former regional manager Bobby Browder and Connie Capps, a former manager at the company’s Raleigh store.
In October, Browder and Capps pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme that siphoned at least $3.8 million U.S. from the school system.
The indictment states that Barnes, through its officers and employees, allegedly generated invoices that stated it had sold and delivered supplies, parts and other items to the school system when it did not.
Authorities said that the company’s name was also associated with more than $600,000 in gift cards given to transportation department employees.
Barnes’ attorney said his client expects to meet with the Wake County district attorney to discuss possible fines. Any amount that it pays would go to the Wake County school system, which has already recovered about $2 million from the company and other suspects connected with the fraud scheme.


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