SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The former finance director for the Town of Spring Lake was sentenced to four years in federal prison for embezzling more than $500,000 from the town.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, between 2016 and 2021, Gay Cameron Tucker wrote checks from the town's bank accounts for her personal use, forging the signatures of town officials, including the mayor. She stole $567,070 during that span, federal prosecutors said.
Tucker, 64, was removed from her job as finance director in March of last year.
On Sept. 21, 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."
Spring Lake has been beset by financial problems. A former accounting technician and finance director in Spring Lake used nearly $500,000 of town funds for herself from 2018-2021, an audit found in 2021.
The town's financial affairs are now controlled by the state treasurer.