Former North Carolina town official pleads guilty to embezzlement, identity theft

Published 7:05 am Sunday, October 2, 2022

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Gay Cameron Tucker, 64, of Fayetteville, the former finance director and accounting technician for the Town of Spring Lake, pleaded guilty September 21, 2022 to embezzling over $500,000 from the Town of Spring Lake between 2016 and 2021, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

“Public officials are entrusted to protect public funds,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Michael Easley. “This defendant breached the public’s trust by using public funds intended for her local community to pay her own personal expenses. Public corruption is a crime that affects all of us and undermines our public institutions.  Our office will continue partnering with law enforcement to investigate allegations of public corruption in any form.”

According to the release, Tucker wrote checks from the Town of Spring Lake’s bank accounts for her personal use, forging the signatures of other town officials, including the mayor and town manager. “These forged checks were made payable to herself, used to cover her personal expenses, and deposited into bank accounts she controlled,” the release continued.

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Tucker pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement from a local government receiving federal funds and one count of aggravated identity theft. She faces up to 12 years in prison.

Easley made the plea announcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William M. Gilmore and Karen Haughton are prosecuting.