$480G found missing from South Carolina restaurant association after founder's suicide

Officials with the South Carolina Hospitality Association say about $480,000 is missing from its account, but an audit found no evidence linking its founder to the lost funds.

The association announced the findings of an internal audit prior to a news conference Thursday.

The association said it is turning over the results of the internal audit to federal and local authorities. The audit didn't discover any direct evidence linking Tom Sponseller to the missing money.

Sponseller was found dead last month from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a room behind two locked doors in the parking garage under the association's office. Sponseller's suicide note mentioned his disappointment at hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from the organization he built over decades.