Former Republican Sen. Fletcher Hartsell Sentenced in Campaign Finance Case ⋆ American Lens

Former Republican Sen. Fletcher Hartsell Sentenced in Campaign Finance Case

Former Republican Sen. Fletcher Hartsell
Fletcher Hartsell

Former Republican Senator Fletcher Hartsell, who was the longest serving senator in the North Carolina General Assembly, was sentenced to 18 months unsupervised probation by Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens last week.

Prior to the sentencing by Stephens, Hartsell, who had plead guilty to three federal tax and mail fraud counts, was sentenced to eight months in prison and $63,500 in restitution to the IRS by U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder.

Hartsell Case Timeline

01-11-13 – The Charlotte Observer first reports on Hartsell’s activities
The Charlotte Observer reported at that time that over $100k of his campaign’s money in 2011 and 2012 were used to pay off debts on at least 10 personal credit cards.

06-17-15 – Hearing Held by NC Board of Elections
Led by North Carolina State Board of Elections Director, Kim Strach, the hearing was help to determine if prosecutors should be engaged over the campaign spending of Republican state Senator Fletcher Hartsell.

06-25-15 – Case referred to Federal Prosecutors in Wake and Cabarrus Counties
After reviewing the findings of the investigation which looked at a 24 year period, the State Board of Elections voted 5-0 to refer the case.  The findings included payments made to Hartsell from his campaign that totaled $345,320 spanning from 2000 to 2012.

06-28-16 – Indicted by a Wake County Grand Jury of signing false campaign reports

02-17-17 – Hartsell pleads guilty to Federal charges
In a plea agreement, Hartsell pleads guilty to three federal tax and fraud counts. Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman handles the case.

05-16-17 – Federal Sentencing
Hartsell is sentenced to eight months in prison and ordered to pay $63,500 in restitution to the IRS by U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder. Hartsell reports for prison on July 12.

05-19-17 – Hartsell pleads guilty to three state counts of filing false campaign reports.
Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens gives Hartsell a suspended sentence of 18 months unsupervised probation. Due to sentencing law restrictions, Hartsell could not be sentenced to prison time for the state charges.

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