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Press Release

Former Spring Lake Public Official Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Embezzlement

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

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – Gay Cameron Tucker, 64, was sentenced today to two consecutive 24-month sentences in prison for embezzling more than $500,000 from the Town of Spring Lake. Tucker is the former finance director and account technician for the Town. On September 21, 2022, she pleaded guilty to one count of Embezzlement from a Local Government Receiving Federal Funds, and one count of Aggravated Identity Theft.

“Public corruption at any level is a crime that affects all of us and undermines our public institutions,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This defendant abused her position of trust by using public funds intended for her local community to pay her own personal expenses. Our office will continue to partner with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute allegations of public corruption.”

Between 2016 and 2021, 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.  These forged checks were made payable to herself, used to cover her personal expenses, and deposited into bank accounts she controlled.  By abusing her position of trust, Tucker stole $567,070 from the Town over this five-year period.

During the course of the government’s investigation into Tucker, the Town of Spring Lake hired a financial consultant to assist with an audit of the Town’s finances for 2019 and 2020 and also discovered financial irregulates. Tucker was removed from her position as Finance Director in March 2021.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle  The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William M. Gilmore and Karen Haughton prosecuted 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 December 14, 2022

Public Corruption
Financial Fraud