Band director faces federal fraudulent charges - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Band director faces federal fraudulent charges

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Lewis John "Jay" Harward Jr. (Source: South Carolina Band Directors Association) Lewis John "Jay" Harward Jr. (Source: South Carolina Band Directors Association)

A band director was indicted and arraigned recently for federal fraudulent charges that he allegedly committed while employed with an Upstate car dealer.

Lewis John "Jay" Harward Jr. was indicted Sept. 12 and is facing attempt and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, fraud by wire as to fraudulent financing and conspiracy to commit wire fraud as to false reports to American Suzuki Motor Corporation.

Harward pleaded not guilty Thursday and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Harward is also not allowed to leave South Carolina without permission per his bond release form.

Richland County School District 2 spokesman Ashley Bruton said Harward is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.

Harward was employed as a finance manager with Joe Gibson's Suzuki in Spartanburg near 2006. The federal indictment states that between 2006 and 2008, Harward, along with nine other employees including Gibson, "engaged in fraudulent and deceptive sales practices designed to induce consumers to purchase automobiles and other vehicles." The illegal activity included promising customers low payments "for life," among others.

Joseph McCulloch, of Columbia, is Harward's attorney in the case.

Harward was recently hired as the band director at Blythewood High School. He previously worked at Carolina Forest High School in Myrtle Beach, Mariner High School in Florida, Dorman High School in Roebuck and South Mecklenberg High School in North Carolina.

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