Local News

Man sentenced in church fraud scam

Posted April 19, 2010

— An Alamance County jury on Thursday found a man guilty of scamming money from the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Pittsboro.

David Oneal Twitty, 46, formerly of Charlotte, was charged with obtaining property by false pretense in March 2009.

Authorities said a month before his arrest, Twitty interrupted a service at the church and asked for financial help. Twitty claimed his wife had been killed in a car accident, authorities said.

The church congregation gave him money and gasoline to help him return home. Twitty told the congregation that he was in the area to collect his wife's belongings, according to authorities.

During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Twitty’s wife was alive and said that his story was part of a scheme to defraud church members.

The prosecution claimed that Twitty had approached church congregations in at least a dozen North Carolina counties. Each time, he claimed a family member had been injured or killed in an accident and took off after collecting donation money, authorities said.

The jury also convicted Twitty of being a habitual felon Thursday, and the judge then sentenced him to a minimum of 151 months and a maximum of 191 months in prison, authorities said.

13 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • rschristie71 Apr 20, 2:40 p.m.

    Stop giving the homeless, transients, "unemployed", pan handlers money! This is the root of the problem. They prey on the good nature of our fellow man! Thats why we have a bum in an orange vest on every street corner here in Durham! Ant to make it even worse our fine city licences these derilicts! Stop giving them money they will go away!

  • jhall4607 Apr 20, 1:23 p.m.

    I will surely not go to hell for $100. If these people say they're hungry and in a bad way, and you have the means to help, HELP! It's between them and God what they do with the money and how they obtained it. Sure you ask questions and follow up, but man, I sure would hate to judge someone wrongly and answer to God for THAT! That seems worse.

  • Just the facts mam Apr 20, 11:14 a.m.

    Although I am glad to see the punishment, people who murder someone get less time than this. I guess he got so much time as a habitual felon as the article points out. But I agree the people who gave him money need to be smart enough to not be giving money to people like this. Strange.....

  • The Anti Hans Apr 20, 10:56 a.m.

    When churches start paying taxes I'll get upset about people bilking money from churches. They remain the greatest tax evasion scam the American public has ever conceived.

  • fatchanceimwrong Apr 20, 10:55 a.m.

    Two Obama supporters...get something for nothing.

  • devilblue Apr 20, 10:53 a.m.

    Totally agree nyrmessier! The supposed "homeless" are scammers too. These people do this because there are people that actually give them money. I can honestly say they have never gotten a cent of my money! It angers me every time I see some one begging. It makes me even angrier when I see people giving them money!!! Stop giving them money and maybe they will stop with the begging!

  • nyrmessier Apr 20, 10:23 a.m.

    So how are these guys any different from the "homeless" people begging on street corners? The vast majority of these people are not homeless. Go after them as well. I'd love to see WRAL do an investigative story on these "homeless" people, and tail them around to see where they really go after their day of "work". Watch how many of them go just down the road and hop in their car and drive away...

  • thought Apr 20, 9:58 a.m.

    So church members just hand over money without asking questions or verifying? This is just dumb on their part. This isn't 1950's sadly, this is new ballgame of selfish people who had everything handed to them when they opened their mouth.

  • Garnerwolf1 Apr 20, 9:49 a.m.

    This actually happens fairly often. Rare that a church would press charges however. I'd guess they've been burned before.

  • b4jesus2 Apr 20, 9:06 a.m.

    These men came to my church also and did the same thing

More...