Man sentenced in church fraud scam
Posted April 19, 2010 8:54 p.m. EDT
Graham, N.C. — 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.