Powell embezzlement case continued yet again

by Alejandro Alfonso

Undisclosed matters that need to be resolved but cannot be revealed to the public have kept David Michael Powell’s embezzlement case from being resolved, according to Guilford County Assistant District Attorney Howard Neumann. Powell is accused of stealing nearly a quarter million dollars from the Piedmont Triad Partnership (PTP) during his tenure as CEO of the non-profit economic development company that had been spearheading the megasite project near Liberty in Randolph County. Powell was granted another continuance in his case at a scheduled appearance on Monday. It is the third continuance Powell has been given in the case. Neumann said Powell’s next court appearance is yet to be determined. Asked if the next appearance could be six months to a year from now Neumann responded, “in theory, yes.””There are undisclosed matters that need to be resolved before this can go to trial,” Neumann said. When asked what the undisclosed matters are Neumann said it would be improper for him to reveal, and would not elaborate further. A call for comment to Powell’s attorney, Locke Clifford, was returned by his assistant, who said Clifford was tied up with another case. No trial date has been set for Powell, and there are no other developments. In June of last year, Greensboro Police announced they had received evidence from the PTP that documented financial irregularities at the non-profit and that Powell was under investigation. Powell was not charged with any crimes until January of this year, when the Guilford County District Attorney’s office alleged he stole money from the company to pay for lawn care services and to buy a boat. Powell denied any wrongdoing in the press and said he had hired his own forensic accountant to explain the irregularities. When the investigation was announced, Greensboro Police Captain Mike Richey told the News & Record, “The loss is fairly significant. We’re working with the district attorney’s office and the U.S. attorney’s office.” The U.S. attorney has not announced any charges against Powell. Since his indictment in Guilford Superior Court in February, Powell has continued his court appearances for months. Neumann suggested at one point the continuances indicated a plea deal was in the works. Neumann said Powell is receiving no special treatment and continuances in a case like this are not unusual, even though he has had more than a year to prepare a defense against the charges.