Wilmington Lawmaker Indicted
Special Report - December 11, 2007
A state representative from Wilmington was indicted Monday, December 10, on five felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses and one count of felonious obstruction of justice. If found guilty of all charges, Rep. Thomas Wright (D-New Hanover), who is serving in his 9th term in the N.C. House of Representatives, faces a maximum prison term of close to 11 years, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
Wright is charged with falsely obtaining $168,880.27 in bank loans and corporate contributions for the Community Health Foundation, for which he reportedly served as president and chairman. According to the indictment papers filed in Wake County Superior Court, he “requested and induced” the Director of the Office of Rural Health to write a letter falsely stating that the Office would provide a grant of $150,000 to the Community Health Foundation to help purchase a building in downtown Wilmington. Wright then took this letter to Coastal Federal Bank and obtained a loan of $150,000. He is also charged with fraudulently obtaining a $10,000 line of credit from South East Community Credit Union for the Foundation, which he used for his own benefit, and with soliciting close to $9,000 from three corporate entities for the Foundation that he allegedly also pocketed.
In addition, Wright is charged with obstruction of justice for failing to account for and report campaign contributions totaling approximately $185,000 between January 1, 2000 and January 31, 2007. The indictment alleges that Wright “converted those campaign contributions to his own use and benefit, and also failed to report the expenditures of those contributions as required by law.”
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