GR tech group blames fed search fallout for shutdown

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids tech organization closed its doors at noon Monday, 10 days after a federal search.

Chris Boden, founder and president of The National Science Institute, announced the group would be formally closing its operations Monday.

A federal search warrant was served at the organization’s campus on Leonard Street near Alpine Avenue NW Dec. 21. The IRS and Homeland Security Investigations were involved. A neighboring business said investigators removed a large number of paper files.

Boden said years of financial problems were the biggest factor in deciding to close, but with the “recent PR hit from being raided by four different Federal agencies while being unable to actually tell people the truth about why, we’ve finally hit the wall.”

He told 24 Hour News 8 that nothing illegal was happening at the organization, “to the best of my knowledge,” but wouldn’t say anymore about the reason behind the raid, citing the ongoing investigation.

Boden said organization will be having a going out of business sale to help “clear the giant debt.” There are already offers on the building.

Formerly known at the Geek Group, the nonprofit tech-science organization was created in 1994. It provided workspaces for people and offered services like low-cost computers to families.

“There’s so much to do… And not like even on the global scale that we operate. Locally, in our backyard, there’s so much to do and I hope somebody picks it up,” Boden said.

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