POST-FLORENCE FRAUD LEADS TO PRISON

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BEAUFORT – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Carteret County Superior Court, JEROMY W. THOMAS, 41, of Newport, pled guilty and was sentenced on multiple felonies related to Hurricane Florence-related fraud and was received a prison sentence of 33 to 69 months. After his prison sentence, he will be on supervised probation for five years to pay full restitution. Superior Court Judge Paul Quinn presided over this term of court, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Ashley Eatmon.

District Attorney Scott Thomas said, “After each natural disaster, I warn scammers that any fraudulent conduct will be investigated and prosecuted. Scammers who take advantage of victims will continue to receive the full attention of our office. We will hold scammers accountable and seek appropriate punishment and restitution.”


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From late 2018 to the Spring of 2019, Jeromy Thomas approached several victims in the Pine Knoll Shores and Beaufort area, to remodel and repair residential properties damaged by Hurricane Florence. Thomas operated under a local company name and used a letterhead for that business, despite the business being out of operation. Thomas promised to complete work on multiple homes and obtained approximately $31,000 from various victims. Not only did he fail to perform the work, but he also led the victims on for months, stating that he was completing the jobs when in fact he was not. Thomas provided photos to certain victims to update them on the progress of their jobs and claimed to have completed the work in the photos. Unbeknownst to them, the photos were not of their actual homes, but rather were being passed off by Thomas to assure them he was completing the jobs. In one case, it was not discovered that no work had been completed until the homeowner’s realtor went to assess the property for listing.

Sergeant Bishop from the Pine Knoll Shores Police Department investigated the cases. After completing the investigation, Thomas was unable to be located. Operating off tips and tracking activity on Thomas’ cell phone, Sergeant Bishop was eventually able to locate Thomas in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thomas was extradited back to North Carolina and has remained in custody ever since.

Thomas pled guilty to fifteen counts of felony Obtaining Property by False Pretenses and one count of Misdemeanor Larceny. Thomas was sentenced to three active consecutive 11-23 month sentences (a total of 33 to 69 months) which will be served in the Division of Adult Correction. Thomas also received eleven suspended sentences for which he will be on probation for five years upon his release from prison. During his period of probation, he is required to provide a copy of his criminal record to anyone with whom he attempts to contract for work, so that homeowners in the future will be aware of his history. Thomas was ordered to pay restitution to all victims, and failing to pay restitution could result in a violation of his probation.

NOTE: Under North Carolina Structured Sentencing law, a convicted criminal defendant must serve all of the minimum active sentence and may be required to serve up to the maximum sentence. Upon release at the conclusion of the prison sentence, a nine to twelve month period of post-release supervision by a probation officer is required.