Partnership probed – MCNC, UNC get supboenas

The North Carolina Israel Partnership, a nonprofit that aims to build relationships with Israel, is under investigation by a federal grand jury in Raleigh, The News & Observer in Raleigh reports.

The organization, which is closely aligned with the administration of Gov. Jim Hunt, has released four boxes of records to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh, the newspaper says.

The reason for the investigation is not known. Since its incorporation in 1995, the partnership has received more than $775,000 in grants to build ties with Israel in the areas of art, education, technology, health and business, the N&O says.

In the course of the 10-month investigation, subpoenas have been served to the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MCNC, formerly known as the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina.

Lenore Behar, who administered several contracts through which the partnership received money, said the investigation has nothing to do with the partnership. She told the N&O the inquiry is an outgrowth of a separate fraud and money-laundering investigation.  

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