- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Two men under arrest in North Carolina for fraud reportedly attended a Galax area church and scammed members of the church congregation out of money.
Sgt. Mike Conroy of Virginia State Police said Wednesday that he has received a report about alleged father-and-son con artists David and Travis Twitty.
The local church did not wish to be named — and might not prosecute the case — but Conroy said the men “attended services and told their sob story, and after services members of the congregation gave them money.”
Police in North Carolina allege that this is a long-running scam perpetrated by the Twittys for the past 20 years throughout the southeast.
Police in Charlotte, N.C., have arrested the Twittys on charges of obtaining money by false pretenses. They are accused of targeting churches across North Carolina, but Sgt. Conroy said it appears the pair expanded their target area into Southwest Virginia.
According to a report from Channel 9 Eyewitness News (WSOC) in Charlotte, police arrested Travis Twitty at Reeder Memorial Baptist Church on Beatties Ford Road in north Charlotte. Officers said he claimed he needed money to get to Charleston to see a sick mother.
Charlotte police have gotten dozens of calls from churches since a story about the Twittys ran on television, according to a WSOC report. Police said the Twittys collected hundreds of dollars from church members in some cases.
In 2008, North Carolina police investigators claimed the duo tricked church members into giving them $600.
David Twitty was in the Mecklenburg County Jail on Monday evening. Travis Twitty was transferred to the McDowell County Jail.
His father maintains his innocence, but Travis Twitty has not commented on the case.
In a WSOC news report from last year, David Twitty was irate when a reporter confronted him with fraud allegations — “Show me in the Constitution where asking is wrong,” Twitty said.
Sgt. Conroy said he isn’t sure how much the Twittys got from the local church.
Virginia State Police are just now opening their investigation, but Conroy said they want to hear from any church in Southwest Virginia that may have been victimized by the pair.
Anyone with information about this case can call the Virginia State Police office in Wytheville at (276) 228-3131.