Ex-law enforcer pleads guilty to embezzling more than $30,000 from state

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A man known for his community service through law enforcement in southeastern North Carolina pleaded guilty Monday for embezzling more than $30,000 from the state.

Hovie Pope was sentenced to three counts of embezzlement and will serve three back-to-back terms totaling at least two years and at most three and a quarter years of a suspended sentence. At the end of his sentence he will serve 30 days electronic house arrest, then supervised probation for five years, at which time the court has ordered he pay the remaining restitution, $23,680. If he fails to do so he could face three more years of supervised probation.

Pope was originally indicted in July, and later turned himself into the SBI, for embezzling nearly $32,000 from the North Carolina Internal Affairs Investigators Association.

Detectives with the SBI began investigating Pope in January 2013 in connection to financial crimes.

Pope was also employed with a marketing firm in Charlotte that provides services for the Kellum Law Firm in Wilmington.

Pope is best known for his time serving local communities in law enforcement.

He reportedly started his career with the Wilmington Police Department before joining the Wrightsville Beach Police Department, where he served for years before retiring.

After retiring, he picked up a part-time position with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office.

Additionally, Pope served as treasurer for the North Carolina Internal Affairs Investigators Association.

Pope is also a veteran and received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the North Carolina Governor's Office.

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