Former Buncombe County manager sentenced in embezzlement scheme

Former Buncombe County manager sentenced in embezzlement scheme
Former Buncombe County manager, three former county employees, and a county contractor were sentenced Wednesday for their involved in embezzlement schemes

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WYFF) - Former Buncombe County manager, three former county employees, and a county contractor were sentenced Wednesday for their involved in embezzlement schemes, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray.

The embezzlement schemes defrauded the county of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Murray said.

Wanda Skillington Greene, 68, of Arden, North Carolina, was sentenced to seven years in prison and one year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, Murray said.

According to Murray on Jan. 16 2019, Greene pleaded guilty, in three separate indictments, to embezzling public funds and aiding and abetting such embezzlement; federal program fraud; making and subscribing a false federal tax return; and receipt of bribes and kickbacks and aiding and abetting.

Amanda Louise Stone, 60, of Black Mountain, North Carolina, was sentenced to 33 months prison and one year of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay a $15,000 fine, Murray said.

According to Murray, on Jan. 2, 2019, Stone pleaded to conspiracy to commit federal program fraud through the receipt of bribes and kickbacks.

Jon Eugene Creighton, 68, of Asheville, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison followed by one year under court supervision, and to pay a $25,000 fine, Murray said.

According to Murray, on Oct. 30, 2018, Creighton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit federal program fraud through the receipt of bribes and kickbacks.

Michael Gene Greene, 48, of Arden, was sentenced to serve six months in prison, one year of supervised release, and to pay a $5,000 fine, Murray said.

According to Murray, on July 27, 2018, Michael Greene pleaded guilty to conspiracy to embezzle Buncombe County funds.

Joseph F. Wiseman Jr., 59, of Roswell, Georgia, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and one year of supervised release. Wiseman was also ordered to pay a $15,000 fine, Murray said.

According to Murray, Wiseman pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge on Feb. 7, 2019, for his role in a bribery scheme involving Wanda Greene, Creighton and Stone.

"This is a reprehensible group of individuals, whose ethical obligation to their community took a back seat to personal gain. As the ringleader, Wanda Greene exploited her vast knowledge of the county's operations to orchestrate various financial schemes, and solicited willing co-conspirators to carry out the fraud. These five defendants repeatedly and egregiously plundered County funds, stealing thousands of public dollars, while they operated with utter impunity, believing they were beyond the law. Even worse, each of them did more than take public money. Their actions destroyed the public's trust in those whose ethical standards should have been beyond reproach. But today is their day of reckoning. Today, justice was served, as prison time is in their future for their deliberate violations of the law – a law that applies equally to everyone regardless of stature or position," Murray said.

“The prison sentences handed down today serve as a reminder that there are consequences for robbing communities of the honest government they deserve. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will pursue anyone, including public officials who treat government funds like their own personal piggy bank,” John Strong, special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina said.

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