Ex-Police Chief Charged With Embezzling Thousands Meant for Family of Leukemia Patient

A former police chief in North Carolina has been accused of embezzling thousands of dollars meant for the family of a teenage cancer patient.

According to The News Reporter, the latest indictments against Spivey allege he was entrusted to receive and donate $8,000 to the parents of 14-year-old Phillip Tanner Buffkin. Buffkin died of leukemia in 2019.

Along with the embezzlement, the local newspaper reported Spivey has also been accused of stealing and selling five firearms from the Chadbourn Police Department, where he served as police chief from 2018 to April 6, 2021.

The 35-year-old resigned after he was placed on administrative leave in March. District Attorney Jon David recommended the town suspend him due to issues with the police department's evidence locker, citing multiple instances where Spivey couldn't produce evidence.

Spivey has been charged with one count of embezzlement, one count of larceny by employee, one count of felony larceny, one count of felony conversion as well as four counts each of obstructing justice and forgery of wills or deeds.

The charges are just the latest filed against Spivey, who was first arrested on April 19 and has since been indicted on nearly 90 felony counts.

Special agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) arrested Spivey without incident in the town of Fair Bluff. At the time, Spivey was issued a $665,000 secured bond and booked at the Columbus County Detention Center.

He was charged with 31 felony counts of altering, stealing or destroying evidence; 31 felony counts of embezzlement; four felony counts of trafficking opiates; and more.

Spivey was accused of stealing more than $30,000, pills and handguns from the Chadbourn Police Department's evidence room, according to WECT News.

Ex-Police Chief Charged With Embezzling Cancer Patient
A former police chief in North Carolina has been accused of embezzling thousands of dollars meant for the family of a teenage cancer patient. In this photo, a New Mexico State Police officer wears his badge on his belt. Robert Alexander/Getty Images

On May 5, a grand jury indicted Spivey on 93 charges: the 88 felony counts plus five misdemeanor charges.

"The SBI has already recovered a number of stolen firearms, several of which former Chief Spivey sold to friends, family members and acquaintances," District Attorney Jon David said in a statement after the grand jury indictment, according to the News Reporter. "To date, there remain a large number of unaccounted for firearms and we are asking for the public's assistance. Anyone with information regarding the sale, purchase or possession of a firearm involving William Anthony Spivey is encouraged to call the Coastal District of the SBI at 910-346-2121."

Newsweek has reached out to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Columbus County District Attorney's Office and the Columbus County's Clerk of Court for additional information.

Correction 06/16/2021, 12:32 p.m. ET: The headline of this story was corrected to clarify that the money in question was intended for Buffkin's family.