HomeLocal News

Thursday, April 2nd

From The Times Free Press- A story we been tracking here at Mix1041- Last Friday, federal prosecutors filed charges alleging Troy Scot Carter had stolen $100,000 by creating false invoices for audiovisual services for which the church did not owe. But in his plea on Wednesday, Carter went further, admitting to stealing a total of $889,766 from the church, which oversees some 36,000 congregations across the globe. In his plea agreement, Carter and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Brooks agreed that Carter would serve up to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release and pay $100 in a special assessment, along with forfeiture and restitution. Carter admitted to an elaborate scheme in which he pocketed money from contracts between the church and private companies providing audiovisual services for the church’s biannual conventions. Officials said Carter was employed at the church from 2004 to 2013, though church leaders said no former or current elected church officials had any knowledge of his crimes. And the church says it has changed its practices to safeguard against fraud in the future. In a statement released Wednesday, members of the Church of God’s Executive Committee said they expected to recoup much of the stolen money through an insurance policy that protects against fraud. “We want our constituents to know that their donated monies are safe and being used properly for their intended works,” the church’s statement said. “We ask that you join us in prayer for all involved and for the ministry of the Church of God. To see a break down of the monies taken visit our website mymix1041.com Court documents show Carter admitted to:

  • Stealing $372,350 by creating false invoices claiming his own company, Platinum Productions, had completed audiovisual services that it had not performed.
  • Pocketing $300,416.10 in hotel rebates that historically had been turned over to the Church of God.
  • Taking some $117,000 by scheming to obtain a refund from a company that provided AV services for a church conference. Carter convinced the company that the church had prematurely paid for services and had the contractor send the funds to his personal company.
  • Siphoning off $100,000 by presenting a false bill to the Church of God, which paid $100,000 for services owed by Carter’s own company

State Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville representing the 9th Senatorial District, has responded to sharp criticisms leveled at both of Bradley County’s state senators by Commissioner Thomas Crye. Crye released his response to Bell’s decision to not move forward with the private act which would have increased the local hotel/motel tax from 5 to 7 percent. The commissioner cited “several contradictions” in the senator’s statement, and was also critical of what he says was Bell’s part in redistricting the county into two districts. “[Bell] later publicly stated that under this concept we have more and greater representation,” Crye said. “It appears that we now have none at the Senate level.” Bell took the opportunity to respond to Crye’s statement and sent his comments to the Cleveland Daily Banner late Tuesday afternoon. “I am open to working with the County Commission on this and any other matters of importance as stated to members in my letter to them,” Bell wrote. “It is very important that we do this in a civil manner and people expect that of their elected officials. The threatening tone used by Commissioner Crye is not conducive to that process.” Bell said Crye was “certainly wrong about his inaccurate accusations regarding reapportionment and my role in it.” “In addition, unlike the County Commission, there are two houses of the General Assembly,” Bell said. “I said I had push back from my colleagues and, whether or not the House member can get it through the House of Representatives, it must go through the Senate to become law. This bill does not have the necessary support in the Senate due to the change in use of that tax and the fact that it has not been used for this purpose in the past.” Bell said he looks forward to continuing to work with the Commission, “and I hope that members will call on me in the future as we put the citizens of Bradley County first.” From The Banner- Cleveland High School and its athletic programs will soon have a more unified look, thanks to their new partnership with Under Armour. “I think the brand that we have at Cleveland is emerging and standing out as a premier school in the state, and not just in athletics,” stated Eric Phillips, CHS athletic director. “Everything about Cleveland is excellence, and I really liked Under Armour because of their vision and aggressiveness.” With the finalization of a process that began in January, Cleveland made things official with the nation’s No. 2 sports performance apparel provider Tuesday afternoon. “We are thrilled to have Cleveland High School join our growing list of Under Armour Highlight school partners, as bringing two champions together always raises the level of competition,” the company said in an official statement. The four-year deal with Under Armour has given CHS another distinction to add to its list, as it is among the first high schools in East Tennessee to have its whole athletic department sponsored by the Maryland-based company. For Cleveland Principal Autumn O’Bryan, the partnership with Under Armour is one that further helps solidify the school’s ‘brand.’