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Has Johnie Vereen paid back the NC DMV the more than $300,000 he was ordered to pay?

Jason Gonzales
StarNews

Former Oak Island Mayor Johnie Vereen has not paid the $338,000 from a lawsuit settlement brought forth by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, according to spokeswoman Marge Howell.

She added that there is no schedule or deadline set for paying the judgment, but it is due.

The DMV filed suit against Vereen in October 2006 seeking reimbursement for money said to be embezzled by an employee of Vereen’s now defunct Oak Island license plate agency.

Vereen agreed to pay the amount after a settlement in 2009.

The former mayor has denied having any role in the theft by his former employee Annie Daphine Ross Prince.

Prince, 63, pleaded guilty in Brunswick County Superior Court in July 2008 to obtaining more than $100,000 by false pretense and was sentenced to at least five years in prison.

Vereen did not face criminal charges in the case.

With Prince in prison and having filed for bankruptcy, the state argued Vereen was responsible for the agency and thus should pay the owed money.

But Prince has said in court documents the mayor initially showed her how to alter bills of sale to steal highway use tax payable to the state.

Operations at the license plate office were suspended Feb. 9, 2006, after DMV auditors discovered that bills of sale on vehicles had been altered, showing a difference in money received and money reported to the state.

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