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Press Release

Former Spring Lake Public Official Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over Half a Million Dollars from Town

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. – The former finance director and accounting technician for the Town of Spring Lake, Gay Cameron Tucker, pled guilty today to embezzling over $500,000 from the Town of Spring Lake between 2016 and 2021.

“Public officials are entrusted to protect public funds,” said U.S. Attorney 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.”

Tucker, 64, of Fayetteville, 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.  These forged checks were made payable to herself, used to cover her personal expenses, and deposited into bank accounts she controlled. 

Tucker pled guilty to one count of Embezzlement from a Local Government Receiving Federal Funds, and one count of Aggravated Identity Theft.  Tucker faces up to 12 years in prison.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William M. Gilmore and Karen Haughton are prosecuting the case.

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No 5:22-CR-00118.

Updated September 21, 2022

Public Corruption