COLUMBIA, SC — Two weeks ago, New Venue Technologies was honored as one of the top performing businesses in the state. On Friday, its president and chief executive was in jail, accused of stealing state money.
The State Law Enforcement Division arrested Terris Shirelle Riley, 39, of Blythewood on Friday, charging her with breach of trust with fraudulent intent involving $10,000 or more. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison or a fine at the discretion of the court.
According to an arrest warrant, the state gave Riley more than $10,000 to make “purchases from vendors.” An audit by the state Budget and Control Board showed those purchases never were made, according to the arrest warrant.
A spokeswoman for the Budget and Control Board said Friday that Riley was supposed to purchase software products for the state.
It is unclear how much money Riley is accused of stealing.
State procurement records show that her company had three active contracts valued at just more than $1 million. Another contract, valued at $1, ended last month.
House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, had appointed Riley to the Gov. Nikki Haley’s Regulatory Review Task Force. The governor’s office confirmed Friday that Riley had been removed from the committee following her arrest.
Rutherford now is acting as Riley’s attorney.
“At best this is a contract case,” Rutherford said. “It is not a criminal matter. She has been working to try and resolve this contract issue, and they get SLED to go and arrest her.”
Riley was at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center Friday night, awaiting a bond hearing.
Her Twitter page was active Friday morning. Shortly after 10 a.m., Riley tweeted: “When the dust settles, I’ll be standing. But, first I will endure that which seems hard, but I won’t bow the knee. I was born a champion.”
Reach Beam at (803) 386-7038.