Former 'Teacher of the Year' accused of defrauding school system

MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) - It wasn't long ago that 30-year-old Hampton Boggs was showered with accolades. He was named the Teacher of the Year at East Burke High School last year.

Now he has resigned his teaching position. His clothing is a county jail jumpsuit, and he faces six felony charges of obtaining property by false pretenses. The warrants accuse him of having the "Intent to cheat and defraud" the school where he won so much praise.

Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisnant says it all dealt with his position as wrestling coach at the school and trips to wrestling camps with the team that never happened.

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"He was creating false receipts and submitting them as if he paid for them," said Whisnant.

So far, he is charged in the warrants of obtaining almost $1,500 from the school. Whisnant says his deputies are investigating other cases. He says more charges are likely and could involve thousands of dollars more.

There was no word on what the money was being used for.

Parents of students at the school said they were shocked by the arrest and say if Boggs is convicted, they want him to pay the money back and even go to prison.

"It's taxpayers' money, not his money," said Michelle Abernathy.

"He needs to be held accountable," said William Miller.

Many are also concerned about the example set by Boggs. Miller said this was more than about the school being defrauded of money, it's also about the trust of students.

"He let them down," he said.

In court Wednesday, Boggs told the judge he would hire his own attorney. His bond remains at $40,000.

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