Former Animal Shelter director sentenced to prison
CARTERET COUNTY — On 12/13/2017, the Honorable Judge Benjamin Alford sentenced former Animal Shelter director Candace Christopherson to serve a minimum of 60 months and a maximum of 84 months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections as part of a plea agreement entered in Carteret County Superior Court on Wednesday.
Chistopherson was the director of the Animal Shelter from September 2005 until she resigned in September 2016.
She was in charge of finance and fiscal operations at the Carteret County Humane Society and Animal Shelter.
Between January 2014 and July 2016, Christopherson used the shelter’s credit cards for personal or unnecessary purchases totaling more than $67,000. Investigators also found that more than $44,000 in cash generated by the shelter’s activities was not deposited in the shelter’s bank account between January 2015 and last September 2016.
In February of 2017, Carteret County Sheriff’s detectives were notified by state officials of missing money in excess of $100k from the animal shelter located on Hibbs Road in Newport. Detective Derek Moore, who investigated the case appeared before a Carteret County Grand Jury alleging felony embezzlement in excess of $100k. On 06/05/2017, the Carteret County Grand Jury returned a true bill of indictment on Christopherson who turned herself in to authorities on June 9, 2017 and remained in the Carteret County Jail. In addition to the jail time, Christopherson was ordered to pay back $111,849.98 in restitution.
District Attorney Scott Thomas said, “Ms. Christopherson has received a substantial active prison sentence as a result of her theft of funds from the Animal Shelter. My office worked closely with Sheriff Buck’s office and the State Auditor’s office on this investigation and prosecution. It is unfortunate that these monies designated for the
benefit of the Shelter were diverted for personal use. We take the theft of public funds and donations seriously and that is why we sought an active prison sentence based upon the investigative findings.”
Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck said, “I’d like to thank the State Auditor’s Office and Detective Derek Moore for their work conducting the investigation and District Attorney Scott Thomas’ Office for prosecuting this case and receiving a judgment adequate to reflect the seriousness of embezzlement of public funds.”