SPRING LAKE, N.C. (AP) — The former finance director of a North Carolina town pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzling more than $500,000 from the town, federal prosecutors announced.
The office of U.S. Attorney Michael Easley announced that Gay Cameron Tucker, 64, of Fayetteville, who served as the finance director for Spring Lake, pleaded guilty to embezzlement from a local government receiving federal funds and aggravated identity theft, The Fayetteville Observer reported. She could face up to 12 years in prison at sentencing. A date wasn’t immediately available.
Tucker wrote checks from the town’s bank accounts for her personal use, forging the signatures of other town officials, including the mayor and town manager, officials said. Tucker’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.
State Treasurer Dale Folwell said his office is seeking to have Tucker forfeit years of government service, which would reduce her pension.
Tucker had control of the town’s bank accounts and hid her transactions by keeping them out of the town’s financial books, State Auditor Beth Wood said. The town wasn’t conducting routine audits, but when someone noticed something amiss, Wood’s auditors stepped in, she said.
Spring Lake’s finances are now under strict supervision from the North Carolina Local Government Commission.
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