Former Buncombe County Manager Charged In $2.3M Life Insurance Scheme
A federal grand jury in Asheville charged a former Buncombe County Manager Tuesday with 23 counts of fraud and money laundering in connection with a $2.3 million life insurance scheme.
Wanda Greene, 66, of Arden, North Carolina, served as the manager for Buncombe County for 20 years until her retirement in June 2017, according to U.S. Attorney R. Andrew Murray.
As part of her county manager duties, Greene supervised county employees and prepared the annual county budget. According to allegations listed in the indictment, Green defrauded the county between 2015 and 2017 and used $2.3 million of county funds to purchase whole life insurance policies for herself, her son Michael Greene and eight other county employees. She also purchased an annuity for another employee who did not qualify for whole life insurance.
The indictment alleges that Greene misled certain county employees, telling them that she had been working with the county board of commissioners to create a new benefits program. She also allegedly lied to insurance companies, telling them that the board had approved and enacted funding for life insurance programs. Murray said the board knew nothing of the programs.
To fund the scheme, the indictment said Greene accessed county money by inflating the settlement amounts the county had to pay for two federal civil rights lawsuits. The indictment said she then wired the extra money toward the premiums of the various insurance policies.
The indictment also alleges that Greene cashed out two life insurance policies upon her retirement, obtaining approximately $396,000 in county funds.
Greene has been ordered to appear in court on the charges.
A separate federal indictment was also filed in April against both Greene and her son for misusing their government credit cards to improperly spend approximately $200,000 of county money.