A fingerprint technology company promoted by State Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight received money from the state’s Tobacco Trust Fund.
(8.25.08) Privaris Founder Outlines Watson Conflicts
RALEIGH — A state-funded economic developer gained ownership in a business that he was recruiting and then secured state grants for the same company, according to the business' founder and documents obtained by Carolina Journal.
(6.16.05) No. 833: Stop the onslaught of economic scams
Instead of encouraging “economic development,” recent deals in North Carolina reveal how the culture of corporate entitlement could foster corruption in North Carolina.
(6.13.05) Privaris Head Helped Other Project
RALEIGH — The president of a fingerprint technology company, which received more than $300,000 from the state Tobacco Trust Fund despite creating no new permanent jobs, helped the state-funded North Carolina's Northeast Partnership with another project just as he launched his own business. Barry Johnson, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Privaris, Inc., compiled an evaluation report in August 2001 on now-defunct biotechnology company CropTech Corporation, at the request of the Northeast Partnership's executive director, Rick Watson. Like Privaris, CropTech sought millions of dollars in financial incentives from North Carolina.
(6.02.05) Final Report Lacks New Details
RALEIGH — The state’s Tobacco Trust Fund Commission closed its file last week on a fingerprint security business that it funded, even though little or no new information was provided in a revised final report about a project the company conducted for the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Privaris, Inc. received $307,575 from the commission through a grant to the Martin County Economic Development Corporation, ostensibly in exchange for starting business in Williamston with 10 to 15 employees. Privaris was to be paid for determining whether its technology could help DMV enhance the security of drivers' licensing for transporters of hazardous cargo.
(4.14.05) Firm Paid Despite Producing No Jobs
RALEIGH — A fingerprint technology company promoted by State Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight received $307,575 from the state’s Tobacco Trust Fund, ostensibly in exchange for relocating significant operations to North Carolina, which the company never fulfilled. After Privaris, Inc. completed a pilot project for the state Division of Motor Vehicles in 2003, company workers vacated their office space at a publicly funded business incubator in Williamston. Despite its failure to create 10 to 15 new jobs as promised in its contract with the Tobacco Trust, Privaris was paid $132,575 in April 2004.