Audit: Former Van Buren CID board spent nearly $300,000 in sales tax on private debts

Van Buren CID funds misused

VAN BUREN, Mo. (KFVS) - A recent audit of the Black Mountain Community Improvement District (CID) in Van Buren, Missouri found that several former board members spent $296,937 in taxpayer funds illegally.

According to State Auditor Nicole Galloway, the taxpayer money was used by the former members to pay for private debts, private business improvements and construction.

One of the items of question in the audit was a $10,000 project for a walk-in beer cave.

Galloway said the audit also found that CID board members Donald Black, Curtis Black and Jacob Black received $125,972 in private business loans for the Black Mountain Convenience Store, which they owned. The monies were used for equipment, inventory for resale, operational expenses, repairs and maintenance of the business.

The audit also found the CID board could not provide adequate documentation to support more than $77,000 of expenses.

Galloway said her office has sent the audit findings to state and federal law enforcement authorities.

The 2019 audit gave the Black Mountain CID a poor rating.

In December 2018, two members of the the current CID board contacted the State Auditor’s Office about concerns on how previous taxpayer dollars were spent by the previous board.

To view the complete audit click here.

Black Mountain CID was organized and approved by the city of Van Buren in 2010 to create a sales tax for the purpose of making public infrastructure improvements inside the district’s 17 acres.

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.