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Finance

ELSS Mutual Funds A Smart Option To Save Taxes

Investors look for investment possibilities to get consistent returns, build wealth over the long term, and reduce taxes. Although many investment opportunities result in earnings, they are taxed by Income Tax regulations.

An investor can properly save on income taxes by making investments in well-known tax-saving securities. The Equity Linked Savings Scheme, also known as ELSS funds, is one of the best tax-saving options.

What are ELSS Mutual Funds?

Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961, an individual or HUF may deduct up to Rs. 1.5 lacs from their total income by investing in an equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS).

As a result, if an individual invested Rs. 50,000 in an ELSS, her total taxable income would be reduced, lowering her tax liability.

The lock-in period for these programs is three years from the date of unit allocation. The units can be redeemed or swapped after the lock-in period has ended. ELSS provides dividend and growth alternatives. Systematic Investment Plans (SIP) are another avenue for investors, and contributions up to 1.5 lakh made in a fiscal year are eligible for tax exemption.

Features of ELSS Funds

Lowest Lock-in Period: When it comes to tax-saving investments, equity-linked savings schemes have the shortest lock-in Period. After a three-year lock-in period, the assets may be revised. ELSS funds may provide a greater return than public provident funds, traditional tax-saving fixed deposits, national pension plans, and others.

Save Tax: Under section 80C of the Act, investments in ELSS funds offer a tax benefit of up to 1.5 lakh. It enables tax savings and higher earnings. Utilizing tax deductions aids you in planning your taxable income.

Investment method: SIP or lump sum investments are both acceptable for ELSS. Rupee cost averaging is available while investing in SIP mode, saving the hassle of making a single large investment. As a result, investing in the SIP method does not feel expensive.

Management of the invested sum: ELSS are managed by experts familiar with market circumstances and aware of market ups and downs. These fund managers are in charge of overseeing all investments made through ELSS.

Tax Treatment In ELSS Funds

One of the most often used strategies for tax planning is equity-linked savings schemes, or ELSS funds, which are mutual funds that save on taxes. Because the returns are based on stock market performance, these funds may produce higher returns than other tax-saving instruments. The majority of ELSS funds’ corpus is typically invested in equity.

Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961, you are eligible for an income deduction for ELSS of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh in a fiscal year. This results in tax savings of Rs. 46,800 if you are in the highest income category.

Reasons to invest in ELSS Funds

Pay less and get more

You can claim a deduction and lower your taxable income by up to Rs. 1,50,000 annually under Section 80C of the IT Act.

Trading without money

ELSS investments have the shortest lock-in period of Section 80C investments, at just three years.

Convert into delivery

If you fall under the highest tax bracket and fully utilise Section 80C provisions, investing in ELSS Mutual Funds will help you save up to Rs. 46,800 annually.

Final Thoughts

Investors must evaluate the long-term profits of various schemes before investing because ELSS investments are for the long term. All ELSS plans devote at least 65% of their funds to equity funds and the remaining portion to debt. A decent strategy for choosing an ELSS scheme is to consider the scheme’s historical performance over a five to ten-year period, the consistency of the fund and company, and how long the fund manager has been managing the fund.

Make sure the scheme’s portfolio includes a variety of large, mid, and small-cap stocks since this will allow it to provide positive returns over different market cycles. Plans that invest in various companies and industries are also better able to endure any cyclical market turbulence. For returns greater than any other tax-saving investment strategy, investors must hold their investments for at least five to seven years.

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Finance

Getting Your Forex Online Trading Accounts

New exchange trading stages enable executing social events to trade consistently through a web affiliation. The web-based new exchange market is open every day of the week, from basically any region of the planet. This straightforward electronic permission engages clients to follow and stay invigorated on the exchange rates that are consistently advancing. Believe it or not, this unsound market has cash costs fluctuating continually!

The money trading stage works inside cost explanations that are definitely the subsequent they are shown, yet also (generally) inside the accompanying 10 seconds or less. As money vendors, any little change in esteem advancement can vehemently alter our advantage and disaster potential, so zeroing in on the specific grandstand of cost instabilities persistently is significantly judicious.

The money exchange market interfaces with the use of committed ‘client locks’ on each gotten to and the closed rate which enables the singular executing to get to a comparable rate at a later stage. The trading stage executes the trades that are immediately dealt with. It in like manner enables the client to benefit from cutting-edge exchange rates that are known to alter rapidly over the direction of the day, with the high places and depressed spots from a genuine perspective playing track down the stowaway with you. The stage also shows the most current rates for the client assessments of advantage and hardship potential.

Each Forex trading account is maintained by some item that talks with distant servers by sending in the most recent exchange rates. The exchange rates displayed in the Forex trading stage are really clear and Infosys share price tradable.

While using a serious cash exchange stage, the client can choose to lock and trade at a rate displayed around then. This current ‘freeze rate’ stays genuine however lengthy it is shown and the accompanying rate jumps up inside several minutes.

Each trading record will moreover routinely consolidate extraordinary web accounting programming to engage the client to get to a record clarification whenever the individual being referred to necessities to separate the market situation while making game plans for trade. Exactly when in an open trade position this accounting programming will normally revive the record verbalization considering the fluctuating cash costs.

The trading account works entirely as per the client’s perspective. The record balance calculations are direct and can give the latest expense proclamations at a basic snap of the mouse. Furthermore, this without restoring the page!

The revived data is continually given inside the record status screens. The trading stage made for the cash exchange market enables the speedy ‘Exchange’ demand when a trade is executed. The data relevant to a particular trade is taken care of with a raised level of security and is sent off a portrayed data server which stores the kept data and produces support in an alternate server farm.

This connection is expected to ensure the reliability of the data trustworthiness without actually any opportunity for mixed-up human intervention. The item in this manner guarantees accuracy, things being what they are. While Trading Account App, reliably get together with a good financial establishment or server. This is to ensure that you would have no need to worry about security issues using any and all means.

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Finance

Why Brick And Mortar Stores Are Remaining Popular With Shoppers

There is a tendency for headlines to promote the idea that high streets are losing their place within cities and towns as customers begin prioritising online sales over brick and mortar experiences. However, while high street retailers have certainly become familiar with the challenges of changing demand, there is actually a substantial amount of evidence to suggest that brick and mortar retail remains not only popular among younger shoppers but also that it is growing too.

When investigating the retail preferences of Generation Z, over 80% of respondents confirmed they enjoy shopping in brick and mortar stores. Other studies demonstrate a similar fondness for the experience offered by physical stores over the distance of online retailers, and many believe that the value of the high street is now being celebrated as a result of the lockdowns with many customers seeking tangible and social experiences.

The effects of a pandemic on the nation’s high street are still being scrutinised with the transition into a post-pandemic society also bringing about its own changes. However, the idea that personal interaction has grown in popularity is very clear. Customers are returning to the high street to interact with retailers and products, having realised the value of the experience.

Retailers are capitalising on this by further emphasising the experience of retail, offering events alongside their products. These activities have a broad range, with examples like coffee tasting sessions at Nespresso stores to spa experiences at Lush being among the most popular.

In addition to experiential retail, shoppers are showing a greater preference for efficiency of purchase. This means that, when comparing online delivery options, which typically take one or two days, with the same-day pick-up options of click and collect, customers are choosing the more immediate option.

This is leading stores to dedicate retail space and services to click and collect operations, promoting same-day purchases on sign fittings, drawing in customers who would prefer to visit the high street if it means obtaining their chosen product more quickly.

Younger generations are also seeking out spaces that support social media activity, a need which is being met by retailers who are offering backdrops and products that can be photographed and shared online. This social media stylisation of retail stores, with an emblematic preference for brightly lit rooms, neon signs, and statement displays is drawing shoppers in who not only want to browse and purchase products but share the activity online too, drawing from a brand’s interior design to the benefit of their own profile.

Many business owners are also meeting the specific desires of younger generations too, filling window displays with designs that adhere to popular trends, as well as placing an emphasis on ethical purchases, such as carbon-neutral manufacturing and upcycled products. By doing so, retailers are establishing a personal relationship with their customers who are increasingly loyal to brands that they believe suit and support their personal image, both visually and ethically too.

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Finance

Five reasons why businesses should try Neobanking

With the advent of digital advancement and multiple technologies coming into existence, even the banking sector has moved ahead from its traditional way of operations.

With disruptions happening in all ecosystem, banking is not an exception. If you follow the latest tech terminologies, chances are that you have heard about a concept called Neobanking.

What exactly are these Neobanks? These are digital banks with no physical branches. Yes, you read it right. They have no physical branches like how normally banks would have and exclusively operate online. A few fintech startups i.e., startups in the space of financial technology, have come up with the concept of Neobanks for the retail customers. They also provide specialized services for your current account, that rely on high-end technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

In India, Neobanks are not provided with an official banking license. Therefore, they depend on traditional banks to carry out their operations. They work in collaboration with the local banks to offer their services to the customers.  Neobanks are also targeting markets that are unreserved. If you are wondering whether this is meant for your business or not, then read on to know the reasons that you can consider to get started.

Here’s presenting five reasons why businesses should try Neobanking:

  1. More cost effective than the traditional banks

Neobanks are a cheaper alternative than our traditional bank accounts. As the charges are lesser, small to medium businesses are particularly interested in these offerings, making the adoptions rates higher among these businesses. Since these banks have an online presence only, the money spends on resources such as offices, etc. is not applicable here which enables them to offer low-cost services to the customers.

  1. Unified platform for all your monetary transactions

Neobanking puts together all your banking needs at one place, and on a single user interface. You can carry out multiple operations from a single platform.

  1. Provides a seamless banking experience

The online banking portal is user friendly, flexible and has robust APIs. You can view your financial summary, their patterns, etc. The options provided on a single platform are varied.

  1. Convenience and time-efficient

A very handy feature is that this banking is available 24*7, unlike regular banks where the doors are closed at a fixed time.

  1. Provides you the best of technology for your banking experience

The technology used here helps businesses to identify any errors, track their finances and you can even schedule al your payments and execute them as per your preference.

Just like every other field, the world of banking is witnessing major breakthroughs making it much or easier for businesses to access their transactions and reduce the complexities associated with it. Neobanks are one such technological wonders that have disrupted the banking ecosystem and made things much easier.

Disclaimer: The above article is subjective and generic in nature. It is purely for informational purposes only. It is recommended not to substitute this article in place of a professional advice.

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Finance

Remittance Tips for Online Money Transfer

Online remittance is one of the most convenient methods to transfer money. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when making an online money transfer, such as choosing well-established banks with an online presence, thus ensuring safety and security of the funds.

In this article, we will discuss a few tips to ensure a hassle-free online money transfer process.

Online remittance has helped many people living abroad to send money to their friends and family. While it has made the transfer process quick and simple, there are a few things to consider before transferring money.

Here are some tips that can make your money transfer process hassle-free:

  • Compare different service providers

One of the most important things you should do is compare different remittance service providers. This will help you find the best deal for you. For instance, you should use an online exchange rate calculator.

Most service providers will have this tool on their website. For example, if you want to transfer money from Germany to India, with the help of this calculator, you can find out the existing exchange rate for euro to rupee. This tool will help you calculate the amount of funds your recipient will receive. Compare different service providers based on this amount, and you’ll know which one is right for you.

  • Opt for a reputed service provider

The exchange rate is an important factor, but the reputation of the service provider is also very crucial. Online money transfer frauds offer great exchange rates to lure customers. Opting for such a service provider will lead to a loss of money. Hence, many people prefer banks for money transfers as they ensure the security of your funds.

  • Protect your ID and password

In order to use online money transfer service, you’ll require your ID and password. These details will be shared with you once you register yourself with a service provider.

Don’t share your ID and password with anyone, in order to ensure the safety of your funds and create a strong password for your account. Furthermore, choose a service provider with advanced security features such as OTP authentication etc.

  • Check the transfer charge

While looking for service providers, you should check their transfer fee and other charges. This fee can be deducted from the amount of money you want to send. Thus, you’ll know the exact amount your recipient will receive once you know the charges.

  • Know the transfer tracking number

You will receive a transfer tracking number once you start the transfer process. This number can be used to check the status of your money transfer. It is important to note the transfer tracking number because it will be required in case you need to contact customer support.

  • Understand how to contact the support team

It is important to contact the support team in case of an emergency, such as an unauthorised login. Hence, while looking for service providers, you should also understand how to contact them. This can help you secure your funds. Select easily reachable service providers which have strong presence across the domain.

Choose Online Remittance Service Providers to Transfer Money to India

Sending money has become easy due to online money transfer services. However, it is important to keep these tips in mind when making a money transfer.

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Finance

Paradigm Invests $8.8M in DeFi’s Ribbon Finance

Paradigm Invests $8.8M in DeFi’s Ribbon Finance

The protocol automates crypto derivatives strategies for the lay DeFi trader.

Ribbon Finance, a crypto structured products protocol backed by the RBN token, has raised $8.8 million under a new partnership with Paradigm, the venture capital firm that launched a record $2.5 billion crypto fund last November.

Under the partnership, Ribbon Finance and Paradigm will work to build new risk products native to decentralized finance (DeFi) and continue to scale the protocol, including doubling down on the project’s multi-chain approach.

“[Ribbon] is a simple way for users to earn high yield on bitcoin, ether and USDC,” co-founder and CEO Julian Koh told CoinDesk in an interview. “We help users create exposure to expert, complicated financial strategies under the hood, but we make that experience really easy for users.”

In short, Ribbon Finance makes it easier for retail investors to benefit from the complicated world of crypto derivatives, Koh said.

Investors deposit wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) or ETH into a vault that automates the “covered call” options strategy, where the strike price is higher than the current asset price. Ribbon writes the calls on a weekly basis and collects the premium. Ribbon says investors can expect double-digit annual percentage yield (APY) from Theta Vault, according to its website.

Ribbon has $257.6 million in total value locked on the protocol, according to data from DeFi Llama.

“Structured products are one of the most important categories of DeFi,” Paradigm research partner and Chief Technology Officer Georgios Konstantopoulos said in a statement. “We were impressed by the execution of the Ribbon team and are excited to back Julian and (co-founder) Ken (Chan) to make Ribbon the market leader in their category

Looking forward

Koh said the focus over the next six months is expanding to additional blockchains. Ribbon Finance recently deployed on Avalanche and Solana and is focused on building its presence on those chains.

“We are just getting started,” said Koh. “The whole structured products industry in DeFi is less than a year old. So we have really just scratched the surface of the types of products that people can build.”

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Finance

Italian MFE’s finance chief: No plans to take over ProSieben at the moment

BERLIN, March 21 (Reuters) - Broadcaster MediaForEurope (MFE) (MFEA.MI), (MFEB.MI) has no plans to make a takeover bid for German competitor ProSiebenSat.1 (PSMGn.DE) at the moment, the Italian firm's finance chief told daily Handelsblatt. "Currently, we have no such plans. What will be in a year's time, we will see then," Marco Giordani was quoted as saying by Handelsblatt on Monday. MFE, formerly Mediaset, is controlled by the family of Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It announced last week that it already had a stake of more than 25% in ProSiebenSat.1. At more than 30%, the Italian company would have to make a mandatory offer to the remaining ProSieben shareholders according to German law. So far, MFE is not represented in ProSieben's supervisory board. Two seats are due to be reassigned at the group's shareholders meeting in May, according to Handelsblatt. Candidates are former RTL boss Bert Habets and Rolf Nonnenmacher, who has been on the committee since 2015, the paper said. Giordani said he would hope for a candidate that will be fully supported by MFE. Otherwise MFE could suggest rival candidates. "In any case, these would not be MFE representatives but independent managers with the right qualification," the finance chief said.

BERLIN, – Broadcaster MediaForEurope (MFE) (MFEA.MI), (MFEB.MI) has no plans to make a takeover bid for German competitor ProSiebenSat.1 (PSMGn.DE) at the moment, the Italian firm’s finance chief told daily Handelsblatt.

“Currently, we have no such plans. What will be in a year’s time, we will see then,” Marco Giordani was quoted as saying by Handelsblatt on Monday.

MFE, formerly Mediaset, is controlled by the family of Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It announced last week that it already had a stake of more than 25% in ProSiebenSat.1.

At more than 30%, the Italian company would have to make a mandatory offer to the remaining ProSieben shareholders according to German law.

So far, MFE is not represented in ProSieben’s supervisory board. Two seats are due to be reassigned at the group’s shareholders meeting in May, according to Handelsblatt. Candidates are former RTL boss Bert Habets and Rolf Nonnenmacher, who has been on the committee since 2015, the paper said.

Giordani said he would hope for a candidate that will be fully supported by MFE. Otherwise MFE could suggest rival candidates. “In any case, these would not be MFE representatives but independent managers with the right qualification,” the finance chief said.

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Finance

Afghanistan’s former finance minister is now Uber driver in Washington DC

Afghanistan’s former finance minister is now Uber driver in Washington DC

Washington Post rides with Khalid Payenda, who left for the US before the fall of Kabul

Days before Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last August, Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president, was “welcomed” to the United Arab Emirates. He was alleged to have taken with him $169m, from his country’s treasury.

Six months on, Khalid Payenda, once Ghani’s finance minister, is driving an Uber in Washington DC.

“If I complete 50 trips in the next two days, I receive a $95 bonus,” Payenda told the Washington Post, from behind the wheel of a Honda Accord.

The 40-year-old once oversaw a US-supported $6bn budget. The Post reported that in one night earlier this week, he made “a little over $150 for six hours’ work, not counting his commute – a mediocre night”.

The Post recorded Payenda telling one passenger his move from Kabul to Washington had been “quite an adjustment”.

He also said he was grateful for the opportunity to be able to support his family but, “Right now, I don’t have any place. I don’t belong here and I don’t belong there. It’s a very empty feeling.”

Afghanistan faces a humanitarian and economic crisis, assets frozen and cut off from international aid that would require recognition of the Taliban government which replaced the US-supported regime.

The Post described Payenda’s experience in late 2020, when his mother died of Covid-19 in an impoverished Kabul hospital. He became finance minister after that. The Post said he now wished he had not.

“I saw a lot of ugliness, and we failed,” he said. “I was part of the failure. It’s difficult when you look at the misery of the people and you feel responsible.”

Payenda told the Post he believed Afghans “didn’t have the collective will to reform, to be serious”. But he also said the US betrayed its commitment to democracy and human rights after making Afghanistan a centerpiece of post-9/11 policy.

Maybe there were good intentions initially but the United States probably didn’t mean this,” Payenda said.

Payenda resigned as finance minister a week before the Taliban seized Kabul, as his relationship with Ghani deteriorated. Fearing the president would have him arrested, he left for the US, where he joined his family.

“We had 20 years and the whole world’s support to build a system that would work for the people,” Payenda said in a text message to a World Bank official in Kabul on the day the capital fell, quoted by the Post.

“All we built was a house of cards that came down crashing this fast. A house of cards built on the foundation of corruption.”

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Finance

Academics for All: Gardner explores career in business, finance

Academics for All: Gardner explores career in business, finance

SHERIDAN — “At the end of the day it is not about what you accomplished, it is about who you have lifted up, who you have made better. It is about what you have given back,” Denzel Washington once said. This is Libby Gardner’s mantra, what she lives by. Gardner, a senior at Sheridan High School, is this week’s Summit Award winner.

She is the daughter of Misty and Josh Gardner, and she has three sisters: older sister Ellie and younger sisters, Shelbi and Kendall. Libby Gardner describes her family as having a “close bond” and she looks up to her mother most. She describes her mother as strong and kind.

“My mom is always taking time to spend one-on-one time with each of us,” Gardner said. “She is the most genuine person I know.”

Gardner is an excellent student with a 4.0 GPA and a resume boasting many advanced courses, including two Advanced Placement, four dual enrollment and three concurrent enrollment classes.

“Libby is an outstanding young woman who brings a positive outlook, desire to learn and a sense of humor that is contagious to those around her,” said SHS math instructor Elizabeth Swager, one of Gardner’s favorite teachers. “Her natural intelligence and strong work ethic are key to her success in school as well as athletics.

“While confident in her abilities, Libby is humble, gracious, compassionate and always willing to help others,” Swager continued. “She is intrinsically motivated to work to her fullest potential in academics, striving for excellence. Libby encourages and celebrates her teammates successes as if they were her own, which makes her a role model and leader among her peers. It was truly a pleasure to have her in class for two years as well as to watch her compete.”

These words are a perfect representation of Gardner and her impact on the Sheridan High School community. Her all-time favorite subject is math; she likes the black and white sensibility of it and has named Swager as an outstanding educator.

“Mrs. Swager is always available and gets to know her students personally,” Gardner said.

Beyond math, Gardner is intrigued by psychology. She thoroughly enjoyed learning about how the brain works and how it relates to each of us.

Gardner has been a three-sport athlete ­— participating in golf, basketball and soccer — for four years. Her favorite sport is golf.

“Golf can be played for fun or competitively,” Gardner explained. “When playing, it lets your mind be free to just think about golf and the people you are with.”

Gardner is a strong leader on each of her teams. On the soccer team she learned how to be there for her teammates through the importance of the goalie position. In fact, her golf teammates call her their “team mom.”

Gardner is a member of National Honor Society, has participated in Student Council each year and currently serves as the senior class secretary. In addition, she has been employed by the YMCA as a camp counselor. 

Last fall, Gardner was fortunate to have an internship at Kennon, focusing on strategical finance management. She experienced both finance and managing outside contracts, especially with the government. This experience solidified her desire to study business, specifically finance in college. 

Gardner has committed to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. She said she is excited to experience another state that is not too far from home.

On a lighter note, her favorite movie is “Cars,” but she loves all Disney films, mostly because she watches them with her younger sister, who is in fifth grade. 

Gardner is a great representation of the Summit Award, a well-deserved honor. Good luck to Gardner in her future endeavors.

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Finance

NC auditor’s report on Spring Lake: Evidence of financial wrongdoing, including embezzlement

NC auditor's report on Spring Lake: Evidence of financial wrongdoing, including embezzlement

An investigation by the state auditor’s office found evidence of financial wrongdoing in Spring Lake — including the embezzlement of more than $430,000 — that is being turned over to the FBI and the State Bureau of Investigation to determine if criminal charges should be filed.

The 56-page investigation report, which was released Thursday, found that the town’s former accounting technician, who also served as Spring Lake’s finance director for more than a year, used at least $430,112 of the town’s money for personal use.

The report does not name the technician, but says in the footnotes that she served as the town’s finance director from March 2020 to April 2021 and as interim finance director from March 2020 to September 2020. Minutes of the town Board of Aldermen’s meetings show Gay Tucker serving as finance director in February 2021 and being appointed interim finance director in March 2020.

Tucker could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

The report by State Auditor Beth Wood’s office also found that Spring Lake employees spent more than $100,000 of the town’s money on questionable credit card purchases and that at least $36,400 collected by the town was not deposited into Spring Lake’s bank account.

The town also erroneously overpaid its former economic development director $9,900 for his monthly cellphone stipend, according to the report.

The report also found that Spring Lake officials did not safeguard town vehicles and the town’s Board of Aldermen did not keep minutes of some closed meetings in 2019 and 2020.

Spring Lake Mayor Kia Anthony did not return a voicemail or text message on Thursday. The town’s website announced an emergency meeting for Thursday morning, but video of the meeting is not posted on the town’s YouTube channel.

The report recommends that the board consider taking legal action against the former accounting technician.

The report accuses the technician of writing 72 checks for her personal use.

The technician wrote 32 checks for a total of more than $16,000 that were payable to Bragg Mutual Federal Credit Union and deposited into her personal bank account there. The report says 27 checks totaling more than $151,000 were made out as payable to the technician, with 24 deposited into her personal account and one deposited into her husband’s account at the credit union. Thirteen checks for a total of more than $113,000 were made payable to Heritage Place Senior Living and used to pay monthly resident bills of the technician’s husband, the report says.

The report says that from January 2019 to December 2020, Spring Lake employees used town credit cards to make more than 600 questionable purchases totaling $102,877. It said 462 purchases totaling $83,069 lacked an itemized receipt and adequate documentation to support a valid town purpose, while 140 purchases totaling $19,808 had an itemized receipt but lacked adequate documentation to support a valid town purpose.

Spring Lake has faced similar issues involving the use of town credit cards. The auditor’s office released an investigative report in June 2016 that said Spring Lake employees and three members of the board spent more than $122,000 on 1,448 credit card purchases over five years that appeared to be unrelated to town business.

The SBI and the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office determined in that case that further criminal investigation or prosecution was not warranted.

The report released Thursday also found that at least $33,283 in cash payments that were collected by Spring Lake’s Revenue Department was not deposited into the town’s bank account. Also, more than $3,100 in cash payments collected by the Recreation Department were not deposited into the town’s bank account.

The overpayment of $9,900 to the town’s former economic development director happened when a payroll technician entered $10,000 instead of $100 for his cellphone reimbursement, according to the report. The director did not inform the town and said he didn’t notice the overpayment because he was expecting a tax return, the report said.

The failure to safeguard town vehicles increased the risk of theft and misuse, according to the report. It occurred because the town did not designate anyone to maintain an inventory of vehicles or monitor their use, it said.

The report found that the board did not maintain minutes for nine closed sessions in 2019 and six closed meetings in 2020. The written minutes for the 2019 board meetings have question marks where the information from closed sessions should be, while the 2020 minutes include no information about the closed sessions, it said.

“As a result of the missing and incomplete minutes of closed session Board meetings, there is no official record of decisions made on important issues such as personnel, economic development projects, acquisition of property, investigations of alleged criminal misconduct, public safety matters, etc.,” the report said.

The report comes about five months after the state Local Government Commission assumed control of Spring Lake’s finances because state officials became concerned about the town’s ability to balance its budget and live within its means.

State officials had been trying to figure out how the town was going to make payments on its debt. The takeover happened after the commission learned that the town had a $1 million loan that had not been reported to state officials.

The commission had warned Spring Lake officials about its finances twice in the months leading up to the commission’s decision to take control. Wood, who serves as a member of the commission, had recommended the move and said her office had launched an investigation to look for missing money.

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