Local CEO Charged with Fraud

Terris Shirelle Riley

BLYTHEWOOD – A local business leader was carted off to jail Friday, charged with defrauding the state government for an undisclosed amount of money “in excess of $10,000,” an arrest report from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) states.

Terris Shirelle Riley, 39, of 497 Langford Road in Blythewood, was arrested by SLED agents on Nov. 1 and transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, where she was officially charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent. Riley is CEO of New Venue Technologies, Inc. (NVTI), a “provider of IT Business and Network Infrastructure services and support,” according to the company’s Web site.

According to the arrest report, the state gave NVTI more than $10,000 to make purchases from vendors and that NVTI did not forward payment to those vendors after the products were delivered.

Rebecca Griggs, a spokeswoman for the S.C. Budget and Control Board, whose audit uncovered the discrepancies, said the contract in question was between the state and NVTI and called for NVTI to serve as “the Software Acquisition Manager (SAM) for governmental entities.”

“Payments were made to NVTI by governmental entities that purchased software through the SAM.  NVTI was to pass through these funds they received as payment from governmental entities to software vendors,” Griggs said. Griggs would not say how much money the state had forked over to NVTI, or how much of that amount failed to reach vendors.

The contract was in place from February 2011 to October 2013, Griggs said, with payments to NVTI from governmental entities utilizing the SAM made routinely throughout the life of the contract. NVTI was mandated by the contract to forward those payments to vendors within three days, the SLED report states, and between June of 2011 and last month, NVTI allegedly did not do so.

State House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D-74), who appointed Riley to Gov. Nikki Haley’s Regulatory Task Force, was retained as Riley’s attorney Tuesday morning. Riley was removed from the Task Force following her arrest.

Phone calls to Rutherford  and emails to NVTI were not returned at press time.