SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WNCN) — The former finance director for the Town of Spring Lake has pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the town, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Gay Cameron Tucker, 64, was the finance director and accounting technician for the Town of Spring Lake. Tucker pled guilty to embezzling over $500,000 from the town between 2016 and 2021.

CBS 17 previously reported Tucker was arrested in June.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Tucker wrote checks from the Town’s bank accounts for her personal use by forging the signatures of other town officials, including the mayor and town manager.

The forged checks were made payable to herself, used to cover Tucker’s personal expenses and deposited into bank accounts she controlled, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The state took over the town’s finances in October 2021, before Tucker was arrested.

“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 pled guilty to one count of embezzlement from a local government receiving federal funds and one count of aggravated identity theft. She faces up to 12 years in prison.