Update: BCI Associate Warden enters guilty plea for fraud

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Adult Correction has confirmed that one of its employees who pled guilty Tuesday to federal fraud charges is an Associate Warden for Programs at Bertie Correctional Institution in Windsor.

Sean Tracy Dillard, age 55, entered a guilty plea in Federal Court pursuant to criminal information regarding the theft of government funds for fraudulently submitting North Carolina Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (NC HOPE) loan applications for emergency rental assistance.

Federal officials, in a press release sent shortly before noon Tuesday, said that Dillard submitted fictitious tenant lease agreements for multiple properties in Bertie County as part of his NC HOPE loan applications that came during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those funds were intended to help people pay their monthly rent and utilities during the pandemic.

Dillard faces up to 10 years in prison.

In a statement made Tuesday afternoon, John Bull, a spokesperson for the Department of Adult Correction, told the RC News-Herald that there is “zero tolerance for any staff involved in any illegal activity and [we] will take appropriate personnel action.”

Bull added that Dillard was still employed at Bertie Correctional Institution as of Tuesday.

According to public information, provided by Bull, regarding Dillard’s tenure as a state employee, he was hired in November 1993 as a Correctional Officer in Halifax County and later worked in that same capacity in Pasquotank and Northampton counties.

Dillard was promoted to Correctional Sergeant in 1996 and worked at that rank in Currituck and Pasquotank counties until 2006. In May of that year, Dillard was promoted to Correctional Assistant Unit Manager in Pasquotank County, a position he held until 2009 when he was named as the Correctional Unit Manager and later became the Inmate Disciplinary Officer.

Dillard came to Bertie Correctional Institution in September of 2018 as the Assistant Warden for Programs. That position, as of March 1 of this year, paid him $68,019 annually, according to the public information made available.

Sentencing for Dillard will occur later this year before United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan.