Former Animal Control Director charged with embezzlement


Criminal Investigative Unit arrested Joseph David Prince, 51, of Wright Road in Tabor CityMr. Prince turned himself in to investigators today, May 30th.  The arrest is the result of an investigation initiated after Mr. Prince left the position of Columbus County Animal Control Director on August 28, 2017.

Columbus County Sheriff’s Office was notified that a laptop containing financial information, along with other documents were missing from the Columbus County Animal Control office located at 288 Legion Drive in Whiteville.  Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Unit initiated an investigation into the missing items.  During the investigation, investigators discovered that Mr. Prince created numerous PayPal and GoFundMe accounts to make it easier for nonprofit organizations to make donations and/or payments to Columbus County Animal Control.  Detectives subpoenaed bank records, PayPal account records, and GoFundMe account records for Mr. Prince and the Columbus County Animal Control.  Mr. Prince transferred the funds from the Columbus County Animal Control PayPal account to his own personal PayPal account for his personal use/gains.  Mr. Prince embezzled $1,599.12 from Columbus County Animal Control.  He has been charged for the above crimes and is being held on a $7,500.00 unsecured bond.

The investigation is still ongoing.      


  • 2 felony counts of Obtaining Property by False Pretense
  • 1 felony count of Embezzlement


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