A man was in charge of the State Employees Association of North Carolina for a decade and a half. However, it turns out that he was stealing money during that time, taking around half a million dollars.
He recently pleaded guilty to the crimes. He is 46 years old.
Things have unraveled quite quickly for the man, who used much of the money at his house. It appears that he used money that was the organization's to do some new landscaping, to purchase new appliances, to put in at least one sound system, and to do many other things.
He's been given two felony counts. His sentence will put him behind bars in a state prison for 58 to 82 months. Additionally, he's been told to pay back what he owes in restitution. To his credit, he has given back around $165,000. This means that he still has to pay about $345,000 to make things even.
At one point during the case, the judge said he was shocked by what had happened. Specifically, he was shocked by how brazen the man had been during his theft and by just how easy it had been to carry out.
The man fully admitted what he'd done in his statement. He called himself a thief. He also said that he had to take responsibility for everything that had happened because it was the right thing to do.
His family did not give much comment after the man left the courtroom, except to say it was a sad day.
All those who have been accused of crimes in North Carolina deserve a fair trial.
Source: The News & Observer, "Cope guilty of felonies: ‘Because I am a thief’," Joseph Neff, Nov. 17, 2015