News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - January 21, 2010

FORMER NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR’S ASSISTANT INDICTED

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that today a Federal Grand Jury returned a 51-Count Criminal Indictment charging CHARLES RUFFIN POOLE, 37, of Raleigh, North Carolina with extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951; bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(B); use of the mail in aid of racketeering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1952(a)(1)&(3); honest services mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1346; money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(a)(1)(B)(I); and monetary transactions in criminally derived property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957.

According to the Indictment, from 2001 to 2009, POOLE served as Personal Assistant and Special Counsel to the Governor of North Carolina.

Mr. Holding commented, “The privilege of serving the citizens of the State is accompanied by a sacred responsibility to conduct oneself honorably, ethically, and within the bounds of the law. Public service should not be, and cannot be, an opportunity for improper personal gain by the employee, or by others relying on their friendship with that employee. The Grand Jury’s decision today is a reminder to all public servants of their obligations to the people of this state.”

“Our country was formed on the premise that public officials serve others, not themselves. Anyone who serves in government has the trust of the people they represent, and we cannot afford to let that trust be corrupted. The FBI will remain vigilant in seeking out those who choose to abuse the system,” said Owen D. Harris, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.

“When servants of the people are involved with, and perform illegal acts it shakes the trust of the people. Hopefully this Indictment will start to restore the public faith. The IRS-CID will diligently investigate public officials who use their office for personal gain,” said Jeannine A. Hammett, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

The maximum penalty for extortion under the color of official right is up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The maximum penalty for each of the bribery charges is up to 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For each charge of use of the mail in aid of racketeering, the maximum penalty is up to five years imprisonment followed by three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For each charge of honest services mail fraud, the maximum penalty is up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For each charge of money laundering, the maximum penalty is up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years supervised release and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater. For each charge of monetary transactions in criminally derived property, the maximum penalty is up to 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transaction.An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

It is important to note that POOLE is the only individual charged in the Indictment returned by the Grand Jury today, and it does not allege wrongdoing by any other person. Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations Division. This case is being handled by the Office’s Economic Crimes Section, with First Assistant United States Attorney John Stuart Bruce and Assistant United States Attorney Dennis Duffy assigned as prosecutor.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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