Criminal investigation underway after Trump hats auctioned off at political fundraiser

District court judge reportedly implicated in allegations

Criminal investigation underway after Trump hats auctioned off at political fundraiser

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into criminal allegations surrounding a local political group. The group is accused of auctioning off merchandise allegedly hand-signed by the president that turned out to be fake.

“We are investigating criminal allegations involving the Lower Cape Fear Republican Women’s (LCFRW) organization,” SBI Spokeswoman Angie Grube confirmed to WECT. “It was a joint request from the Wilmington Police Department and the DA’s office.”

Sources familiar with the case tell WECT the allegations of fraud involve two hats, advertised by the LCFRW as being hand-signed by President Donald Trump. The hats were reportedly auctioned off for $1,600. After the buyer purchased the hats, the signatures were determined to be digitally printed, not hand-signed by the president. They were therefore worth significantly less money.

District Court Judge Sandra Ray, who served as president of that republican women’s group from 2017-2018, is implicated in the allegations. She did not respond to our requests for comment, but WECT is told the outside law enforcement agency was called in because of potential conflicts of interest locally.

WECT is told possible irregularities in the group’s financial records are also a subject of the investigation.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.