Pitt County Businesswoman Charged With Tax Embezzlement

A Pitt County businesswoman is accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars in state tax withholding funds.

Joanne Tuten of Winterville is CEO of the May Frances Partnership in Caring, Inc. She is facing one count of embezzlement of withholding tax, and three counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

The Department of Revenue says Tuten helped the corporation embezzle nearly $74,000 in withholding tax from 2005 to 2009.

The state also says Tuten filed personal tax returns for the years 2006 through 2009 showing she had money withheld, when in fact she knew the money had not been sent to the state.

Tuten is being held on an $80,000 bond and has a first appearance Friday in Raleigh.

According to their web site, Tuten founded the May Frances Partnership in 2000. It says the Partnership assisted challenged people to find housing and health services, learning how to access public transportation and meet their basic needs. A phone number listed for the business is no longer working.


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  • by to Sam on Jun 27, 2010 at 12:11 PM
    I live in Williamston and I know exactly what you are talking about. The schools in Martin County are horrible always been. I been letting my son take most of his classes online. Thinking about moving away myself after he graduates.
  • by US citizen for now Location: Washington on Jun 26, 2010 at 09:35 AM
    Do you see a white extremist group similar to the NAACP spouting confusion and racial issues up here over this headline?????? NO I rest my case.
  • by former therapist Location: Greenville on Jun 24, 2010 at 06:47 PM
    This was a wrong-headed STATE program, that anyone in the field could have predicted would not work in ANY fashion. I have so much to say about this mess that I will have to stop here because I would be up all night trying to finish my comments on my experience, thoughts and outrage otherwise. Let me just say that dragging Bush or Obama into it is not helpful. You could get more traction complaining about our former governor, Mike Easley (for whom I voted), especially if you actually know how this came down. Suffice it to say that, for me, the only way to deal with it was to change professions to avoid the ethical quagmires involved in the mental health mess that was created several years ago with the privatization of the mental health system.
  • by Donna Location: Washington on Jun 24, 2010 at 01:18 PM
    Although there are many agencies out there out for the money there are justas many that are there to help others. I work for a mental health agency and I go above and beyond to help the people I was paid to help. I know Joanne; I worked for her for a short while and she did help and care about people. I can't imagine what kind of financial difficulties she ran into that caused the mess she is in now. It is unfortunate that the mental health services are taking a hit in the public because of the actions of a few. There are some of us who truly care about the people in NC that have mental health and developmental disabilites. This isn't a field where you are going to get rich, that is not why you do it if you are truly committed to your role in other people's lives.
  • by truthiracy Location: ENC on Jun 24, 2010 at 01:02 PM
    I have seen many 'group homes' in ENC. Up until this year when the govt. took away the funding for 'level 3' (endagered/at risk) youth group homes, many were operating wtih few kids in them but drawing all this money from the govt. i'm not sure, but i have a good feeling that many of them were closed because the govt. saw the abuse of these monies running rampant. sure there were kids who needed the help but unfortunately, these owners ruined their chances. if you want to see more abuse of govt. monies, look into day cares and summer feeding programs. these groups gets lots of monies for feeding programs (upwards of $10,000 ) for feeding kids through the summer and you know what the kids get...no, not a hot meal but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. you can not tell me that it costs $10,000 to feed kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a whole summer! these kids deserve more but these money hungry free loaders rake it in for themselves.
  • by Anon Location: Greenville on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:51 AM
    The privatization of Mental Health services doesn't seem to be getting the results that was expected. Just because the business provider is private the companies are mostly funded through medicaid and other tax funded sources.
  • by Beth Location: Winterville on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:30 AM
    You'd be surprised how many people do this and don't even get probation b/c a company doesn't want to be "embarassed." The person who did it should be embarassed and serve prison time!
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Jun 24, 2010 at 10:30 AM
    To Fiona, I don't doubt what you said about the half illiterate staff in that Martin county agency you were with. I was raised just outside of Williamston and over half of the people I went to school with, along with some of the older and middle aged people barely even had a brain. Also, they want to fuss, complain, talk trash about others, start false rumors that the whole county find out about in a day. My wife and I had to get out of there first chance we got. I became very fed up with what went on around there and still am.
  • by Wow Location: Greenville on Jun 24, 2010 at 08:08 AM
    I have notice for the past year a lot of women have been charged with embezzlement here in the east -- More probation!
  • by Fiona Location: California on Jun 24, 2010 at 08:07 AM
    To Raymond: I worked for a well known agency in Martin County and what I saw there was atrocious! They have barely literate staff working with developmentally challenged adults, case managers who cannot complete a sentence and certain staff given huge bonuses each year, some over $30,000.00!! There is so much abuse of power and funding it is not funny. I hope as you claim you run a good and honest agency for this population, they certainly desereve and need good people advocating for them.
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