Local woman arrested in scam targeting churches, more arrests expected

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Susan Denise McHone, 47, of Germanton

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. – A woman is accused of scamming money from local churches by telling them she needs help to pay for rent and hospital visits.

Susan Denise McHone, 47, of Germanton, has been arrested and charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretenses and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses.

The suspect, along with others, went to churches and asked for assistance in paying for rent, doctor’s visits and prescriptions, according to the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office.

The scammers would ask the churches to make out a check to one of their co-conspirators, claiming to be their landlord, according to deputies.

The sheriff’s office said in a press release that the investigation started when one church came forward. Detectives have been able to determine more churches have also been targeted.

Deputies said more arrests are expected.

McHone was jailed under a $5,000 bond and has court planned for next month.

“To defraud a church is about as low as you can go,” said Stokes County Sheriff Mike Marshall, in a press release. “No doubt, the majority of people asking for help truly need it. These suspects took advantage of the church’s generosity. Our office does not want to discourage helping the needy, but wants to make our citizens aware that these scams do exist.”