• Business owner claims college in financial trouble owes money

    By: Kristin Leigh

    Updated:

    CONCORD, N.C. - A local college failed to file required tax forms and is accused of skipping out on bills, leaving at least one small business owner in a bind.

    Barber-Scotia alumni contacted Channel 9 anchor Kristin Leigh and asked her to investigate the school's financial crisis.

    [PAST COVERAGE: Concord leaders, alumni concerned about future of Barber-Scotia College]

    Sim Hamby said he's tried to be understanding of the financial troubles at Barber-Scotia College, but it's been difficult.

    “(There were) $1,600 missing from our books -- makes it very difficult,” Hamby, a T-shirt Specialty sales manager, said. “We have several employees to provide for.”

    His small business in Caldwell County prints and embroiders clothing.

    He has invoices from last summer that showed items delivered to the college were not paid for.

    “We saw your story on the true condition of their financials at the college and at that point, we were really concerned about it,” Hamby said.

    In December, Barber-Scotia owed the federal government $11.1 million after defaulting on a loan when it lost its accreditation in 2004.

    Former school President David Olah, who placed the order, wasn't transparent, Hamby said.

    “He was definitely misleading about when we would get paid, how we would get paid, that kind of thing,” Hamby said.

    Olah was responsive to Hamby's emails in the beginning.

    On Sept. 27, 2018, the school president offered this explanation, writing, "When the Department of Labor pressures for a final payment and provides no option but closure, we chose to make that payment rather than several other smaller payments.”

    Guidestar, a website that publicizes federal tax records that nonprofit organizations are required to file by law, indicated that Form 990s were filed for 2013 to 2015, but the college has not done that in recent years.

    Leigh had a hard time getting answers from school officials for months.

    In addition, Olah retired at the end of 2018.

    Monty Hickman took over as president of the college in December.

    He said on the phone Friday he didn't know about the school's outstanding bill from the T-shirt company or about the missing tax records.

    He requested more time in his new office to sort through things.

    “We just want to be paid for what we did,” Hamby said.

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