Grand jury issues indictment related to Richland County Hospitality Tax program

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson (ColaDaily file photo) 

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Friday that the S.C. State Grand Jury issued another indictment related to allegations of misuse of Richland County Hospitality Tax funds.

The indictment against Patricia A. Ford, was issued Thursday. She  was previously indicted by the State Grand Jury on March 16, for five counts of perjury.   In the new indictment, Ford was charged with five counts of Forgery and one count of obstruction of justice.

One forgery count alleges that Ford forged the endorsement of another person on a check drawn on the account of Ford’s charity, SCALE, Inc., in order to cash the check for her own purposes.   

The other forgery counts generally allege that Ford forged contracts or other agreements with supposed musicians, and these forged agreements were turned into Richland County to cover up the fact that Ford did not use the money for the SCALE event as indicated.  The obstruction of justice count alleges that with knowledge of her prior indictment Ford attempted to get a witness to sign a document that falsely claimed he had agreed to donate money back to her charity, SCALE, when in fact he had never received the money from SCALE.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant Deputy Attorney General S. Creighton Waters.

Attorney General Wilson stressed that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.