State financial prosecutor confirms ongoing investigation into NHC Chairwoman

State financial prosecutor confirms ongoing investigation into NHC Chairwoman
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 4:04 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Chief Financial Crimes Prosecutor for the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys Chuck Spahos has confirmed there is an ongoing investigation into New Hanover County Commission Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman.

It’s the first time since a criminal complaint was filed against Olson-Boseman by a former client that the state has formally confirmed they are investigating the allegations.

“I can confirm that Mr. David [Ben David, NHC District Attorney] asked the State Bureau of Investigations to investigate any criminal allegations in the matter of Julia Boseman in July of 2021. He also requested that a conflict prosecutor be appointed to handle any criminal prosecution that may come from that investigation. I have subsequently been appointed as a special prosecutor to handle the matter. This is an ongoing investigation, and I cannot further comment at this time,” Spahos said.

Information about the investigation is limited at this time, but we do know the investigation stems from Gary Holyfield’s complaint against Boseman for allegedly obtaining property under false pretenses for $30,000.

When reached for comment Friday afternoon, Boseman responded to a WECT reporter’s text message with, “You have got to be kidding me. Y’all need to find a new story. Same crap, different day. And yes that’s a quote.”

It is not uncommon for law enforcement or district attorneys to ask other law enforcement agencies, including the state, to take over cases where there could be a perception of a conflict of interest. While the SBI has handled many cases in our area, the Financial Crimes Division is a less commonly seen entity.

“The Financial Crimes Initiative team, comprised of the White Collar Crime Resource Prosecutor and four Regional Financial Crimes Prosecutors, is committed to making a difference in the prosecution of financial crimes in North Carolina,” according to the organization’s website.

“This team serves as a resource to the elected district attorneys across the state by offering various levels of prosecutorial assistance in area of financial crime. These crimes are often highly complex, involve large volumes of documents and evidence and required a focused approach. These specialized prosecutors are responsible for prosecuting select financial crimes cases throughout North Carolina.”

Multiple allegations

In addition to his criminal complaint, Holyfield also filed a complaint with the N.C. State Bar over Boseman’s handling of funds he paid her to file a lawsuit on his behalf.

While it has yet to publicly acknowledge Holyfield’s complaint, which is often the case unless formal action is taken, the Bar earlier this week was granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Boseman in a separate matter related to the handling of her client trust account as she was winding down her law practice.

Boseman, who characterized the Bar’s case as a “witch hunt,” has reiterated in previous interviews with WECT that she retired from practicing law in early 2021, so the injunction will not have any significant impacts.

The injunction against Boseman will remain in effect until further order of the court. It’s not clear how long the state’s investigation into the criminal allegations will take.

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