Former president of Coastal Carolina Fair arrested over missing - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Former president of Coastal Carolina Fair arrested over missing funds

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A press conference was held Friday, March 28, at 3 p.m. to discuss an investigation of missing funds from the Coastal Carolina Fair. A press conference was held Friday, March 28, at 3 p.m. to discuss an investigation of missing funds from the Coastal Carolina Fair.
LADSON, SC -  The former president of the Coastal Carolina Fair has been arrested over alleged missing funds.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office issued a warrant for Dennis Lott's arrest Friday afternoon at 5:30. Major Eric Watson says that Dennis Lott agreed to come to the Sheriff’s office by 2:30 Friday afternoon, but when he did not show up, investigators issued an arrest warrant for Breach of Trust.


Lott was apprehended by the Walterboro Police Department about 7:00 p.m. Friday while driving through the City of Walterboro.  Shortly after, custody of Lott was transferred over to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. Lott faces bond court Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
 
On Thursday, March 27, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation at the request of the Coastal Carolina Fair into money missing from the Coastal Carolina Fair’s bank account.


During a press conference Friday afternoon, Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas discussed the investigation. The Sheriff’s office says that according to Coastal Carolina Fair members, Lott, who was the president at the time, wrote himself a check for $190,000 from the fair’s account on July 19, 2013.

  
Related: Coastal Carolina Fair could break attendance record this year

Joe Bolchoz, a spokesperson for the Coastal Carolina Fair, told News 2's Raymond Owens that representatives from the fair will not be going on camera to talk about the issue, or releasing any statements regarding the investigation.

However, he did want to tell the public that the Coastal Carolina Fair will not be impacted by this investigation. It will go on as scheduled, and charities will receive the regular donations they would receive as scheduled.

The organization has also increased their amount of contributions to local charities by $20,000 this year.

He says that the suspect in the investigation ended his two-year term as president of the Coastal Carolina Fair at the end of December. Each president serves a two-year term.

The organization discovered the financial questions in February. They have hired an attorney and are working with a forensic auditor during this investigation.

Bolchoz says the reserve fund that the Coastal Carolina Fair has held for around 57 years is the only account impacted from this financial problem.

He could not release how much money is in the reserve fund, however he said it is more than $700,000. He could also not release the amount of money that the Coastal Carolina Fair is missing. The reserve fund is specifically used for any problems that the Fair might have, for example they would use those funds if the entire fair was rained out.

He says at this point they are letting the police handle the investigation of what happened.


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