A married North Carolina couple is facing multiple criminal charges in connection with a scam police say bilked grieving victims out of thousands.
According to WJZY, Tunis and Georgeanne Selby were arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of obtaining property by false pretenses and felony conversion.
The local news station began investigating the claims of wrongdoing in February, when an alleged victim told reporters that she gave the suspects $10,000 in exchange for her deceased son’s headstone, a purchase that was never delivered.
Since then, Monroe police and surrounding authorities have received a total of at least 34 complaints from other alleged victims, all sharing similar stories of fraud.
In total, a city official estimated the couple had obtained roughly $64,000 through false pretenses from multiple individuals, promising to deliver a headstone but failing to follow through with the order.
As WBTV reported, police say the scam began when the Selbys found a victim willing to pay for the product in advance.
City of Monroe communications director Pete Hovanec said local authorities knew early on in the investigation that they would pursue charges.
“We just wanted to make sure we had enough evidence and as many victims as we could,” he explained.
Both suspects were arrested and jailed with bond set at $50,000. They have since bonded out of jail.
A number of alleged victims have expressed relief upon hearing of the suspects’ arrest. The Selbys are set to appear in magistrate court on May 11.
[Featured image: Tunis and Georgeanne Selby/Monroe Police Department]