SBI investigating local firm over stimulus money
A Southern Pines firm of civil engineers and consultants is being investigated by the State Bureau Of Investigation for allegedly falsifying applications for federal stimulus money. The Raleigh News And Observer is reporting that Hobs Upchurch And Associates is accused of falsifying homeowners’ signatures on applications, including those of two dead people and involving one house that had burned to the ground. The applications were for federal stimulus money to help low income residents in Yadkin County upgrade their homes. Hobbs-Upchurch is also suspected of submitting documentation falsely claiming that several officials in in Yadkin County met as a committee to select the applicants in question. Fred Hobbs, a former democrat state senator, insists that his firm in his words “Has absolutely not done anything of the things asserted.” Hobbs was fined 150-thousand dollars last year for making illegal campaign contributions to democrat politicians, including Governor Beverly Purdue, Former Governor Mike Easley, Former Senate President Pro-Tem Marc Basnight and Former Lieutenant Dennis Wicker.