BEAUFORT — District Attorney Scott Thomas announced Monday Tracy Shoffner, 56, of Columbia, entered a guilty plea in Carteret County Superior Court to a charge arising out of post-Hurricane Florence fraud upon a church.
Resident Superior Court Judge Josh Willey presided over this term of court, and the case was prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Ashley Eatmon.
According to the district attorney’s office, following the damage done by Hurricane Florence, Mr. Shoffner offered to conduct repairs on a local church, and after providing what appeared to be a contract, the church administration paid him $7,500 to begin work.
As soon Mr. Shoffner received the check, he ceased all communication with the church, which had used part of its insurance payments to pay him. Mr. Shoffner, who has a lengthy criminal record, was sentenced to a prison term of 20 to 33 months, and all restitution he owed to the church was entered as a civil judgment against him.
“We are aggressively prosecuting hurricane fraud cases as we warned we would. We are seeking active prison time and restitution,” Mr. Thomas said. “Fraudsters should know they will face investigation and prosecution in our district.”