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Dumpster painting scam cost Kernersville $200,000, indictments allege

Dumpster painting scam cost Kernersville $200,000, indictments allege

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A former solid-waste superintendent for the Town of Kernersville is facing charges that he used a fake company to defraud the town of at least $200,000 over a period of 14 years.

Thad Leslie Buck, 53, of Peabody Forest Trail in Colfax was indicted Monday on eight counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. He also is facing one count of attempted obtaining property by false pretenses. He has not been indicted on that charge.

According to the indictments, Buck falsely represented to town officials that Atlantic Container Company LLC would paint dumpsters for the town. But the company did not perform the work, the indictments said.

The indictments cover a period between Nov. 1, 2005 and Dec. 13, 2019. Two of the indictments indicate that the value of the fraudulent work was at least $200,000.

Atlantic Container Company LLC is not registered with the N.C. Secretary of State.

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Buck started working for the town of Kernersville in 2004 as a solid-waste operations supervisor, according to Crystal Tanner, the town's human-resources director. Buck became the town's solid waste superintendent on July 2, 2009. His annual salary was $68,731.

Town officials fired Buck on Dec. 18, 2019. According to his dismissal letter, Buck was fired for "participation in any action that would in any way seriously disrupt or disturb the normal operation of the department, or causing disharmony or strife within the department."

Town Manager Curtis Swisher declined to comment. Town Mayor Dawn Morgan and Jenny Fulton, the mayor pro tem, both declined to comment, saying it was a pending legal matter. 

In February, town officials reported to the Kernersville Police Department an incident of possible embezzlement by a former employee, according to a news release from the police department. Detectives with the police department investigated and Buck was arrested on Oct. 1 on the eight counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. He was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond. 

The indictments on Monday puts the case against Buck into Forsyth Superior Court, where either a trial will be held or a plea arrangement negotiated between Buck's attorney and Forsyth County prosecutors.

It was not immediately clear when Buck's next court date in Forsyth Superior Court would be. 




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