by: Richard Belcher Updated:
ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned the FBI is investigating suspicious credit card purchases at Georgia Tech.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher broke the story that university auditors have raised questions about as much as $1.5 million in purchases. The lead auditor suggesting that state policies and state law were violated.
Now Belcher has confirmed that the FBI is taking the lead in the case.
As a state university, Georgia Tech is largely reliant on state funds, but many research grants involve federal money.
That's especially true for the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The presence of the FBI suggests that some or all of the purchases in question involve federal money.
Tech's auditors documented their findings in a memo completed in early October. It focused on three employees and three companies.
The employees are James Fraley, Alan Golivesky and Stephen Blalock.
Georgia Tech says Fraley and Golivesky are no longer employed. Blalock is on leave.
Belcher went to Fraley's home in Acworth Monday. A neighbor later told Belcher that Fraley had moved.
He added that's he's familiar with the allegations at Tech and doubts his friend, James Farley, did anything wrong.
Belcher could hear people inside when he knocked on the door at Golivesky's home in Sandy Springs, but no one came to the door.
One of the three companies named in the report is Wiesmann Tool of Alpharetta.
About Wiesmann, the auditors concluded, "multiple purchases greater than $4,000 are unaccounted for, unsupportable for… research and factually questionable."
Company owner Kurt Wiesmayer told Belcher on the phone, "There's something going on over there, and it's bigger than what I did with Tech. There's no scam going on. If I was a shell company, the IRS would be all over me."
Weismayer isn't dealing with the IRS, but he did acknowledge that he'll be meeting with FBI agents Tuesday.
He told Belcher, as he did the auditors, that he does know former research institute employee James Fraley, but again, the business owner says he has done nothing wrong.
FBI takes lead on investigation into Georgia Tech credit card purchases
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