To say our tales (right here and right here) on the present state of affairs at Thornblade – an upscale suburban neighborhood and nation membership close to Greer, South Carolina – have sparked a flood of response could be an understatement.
“Thornblade drama is all anyone is talking about here in Greenville,” one among our Upstate sources advised us this week. “Lots of rumors. Looking forward to you uncovering the facts.”
We’re definitely doing our greatest on that entrance … simply as we did our greatest to uncover the details on scandals involving former Greenville county sheriff Will Lewis and the Mauldin police division, amongst different high-profile tales that broke solely on our pages.
Principally, we’re three distinct Thornblade-related scandals: 1) Allegations of potential embezzlement involving the neighborhood nation membership, 2) allegations of a “prostitution ring” involving a number of residents of the neighborhood, and three) allegations involving an “athletics team at a government-run high school in nearby Taylors, S.C.” which might be stated to be by some means related to the prostitution accusations.
One addendum to this listing: Since our authentic tales had been printed, this information outlet has realized that Upstate legislation enforcement officers have been knowledgeable of “possible blackmail” allegations in reference to the rumored prostitution ring.
RELATED | Thornblade Scandals
Whereas we proceed to gather info from our community of sources on these issues, Thornblade’s interim normal supervisor Steve Munch circulated an e mail late Thursday in response to our protection of the membership’s funds.
In line with Munch, our articles contained “a combination of charges and innuendo related to activities regarding the club.”
Innuendo? We’ll see about that …
“The board has made every effort to inform the membership of the club’s current financial situation and the steps being taken to address those,” Munch wrote. “It has been our goal from day one to be completely transparent.”
Munch added that “despite the suggestions” made by our protection, “the facts remain the same.”
At this level, he acknowledged the board was getting ready to vote on an “assessment” to cowl what he described as “an operating loss in our fiscal year ending March 31.”
“Other than one issue (unauthorized American Express usage) there does not appear to be any criminal activity involved,” Munch wrote.
As for the “unauthorized American Express usage” concern, Munch wrote that “a former employee obtained an American Express card resulting in unauthorized charges of $110,000.”
“We contacted the Greenville county sheriff’s department in May and asked them to conduct a criminal investigation,” he added. ” We’re helping in that investigation with authorized counsel.”
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(By way of: Getty Photographs)
As of this writing, this Greenville sheriff’s workplace inquiry into the membership’s funds is the one recognized open investigation involving Thornblade or its nation membership.
One in every of our Thornblade sources confirmed this week that the membership “assessment” would certainly be voted on this weekend – though they advised us the quantity being sought was a lot decrease than the $5,000 per member “surcharge” quantity we had been initially quoted.
“The assessment is for $2,000 for full golf members and lower for other classes of membership,” the supply advised us, including that “the need arose due to a former (financial officer) not preparing accurate financial statements for management and board review.”
One other supply confirmed this info, including that “junior” members on the membership would pay a $1,000 evaluation whereas “athletic members” would pay barely lower than that quantity – once more, assuming the evaluation passes.
“Both management and the board could have done a much better job in their fiduciary duties and steps have been taken to put a structure in place to not allow this to happen again,” our supply acknowledged.
Echoing the e-mail from Munch, this supply confirmed the bank card concern was “the ONLY known case of malfeasance.”
“Everything else was due to inaccurate financial reporting prepared by the former (financial officer),” the supply stated. “If the assessment passes, the club’s cash position will be restored with sufficient working capital to sustain operations going forward at revised budget levels accounting for the impact of COVID to the club.”
How a lot did this alleged “inaccurate financial reporting” value the membership? In line with a June 2020 membership e mail obtained by this information outlet, one concern reportedly concerned “the failure to record approximately $335,000 in expenditures made through manual checks.”
This e mail additionally referenced the bank card scandal, and cited a cash stability from the month of March 2020 that was “overstated by $570,000 when compared to the actual bank statement.”
STORY CONTINUES BELOWThe membership has a complete of 600 members, we’re advised. Additionally, it’s worth stating to our readers that not each resident of Thornblade is a member of the membership – neither is each member of the membership a resident of Thornblade.
So … what do these membership sources inform us about experiences associated to the prostitution ring? And the highschool staff?
“Keep digging,” one supply advised us, including that “every word” of those experiences was “accurate.”
We plan to maintain digging, nevertheless one other supply warned us in no unsure phrases to tread fastidiously in pursuing these traces of inquiry …
“Be careful, these monsters are high-profile public personas in Greenville,” the supply wrote. “Some are lawyers, and they are extremely litigious.”
Keep tuned … we stay up for protecting our readers updated on the most recent info we’re capable of uncover associated to this ongoing saga.
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