A Jacksonville couple accused of defrauding a local cigar maker of nearly $4 million was using the money to prepare for the fall of the U.S. government, according to an arrest warrant.
Gretchen Camp and her husband Richard both pleaded not guilty Tuesday during an arraignment in Duval County Court.
Gretchen Camp, 36, was the tax manager for Swisher Sweets International when she was arrested in December. In late 2017, she began creating bogus invoices to a company that didn't provide services to Swisher, according to a police report. Gretchen Camp continued paying those invoices to the company - Macon, Ga.-based Lodge and Anchor. After about a year the invoices totaled about $4 million.
According to an arrest warrant for Richard Camp, his wife confessed to the ruse saying that she and her husband used some of the money to purchase a 460-acre farm in Metter, Ga. They were also planning to build several buildings on the property along with purchasing equipment and tractors to work the land, the warrant states.
A subpoena served to Bank of America revealed that large sums of money were transferred from Lodge and Anchor to Richard Camp's account, the warrant states. A $500,000 wire transfer was made to the couple's joint account to purchase a condo in Fernandina Beach, the warrant states.
Gretchen Camp also told investigators her husband purchased proceeds from the theft to buy "significant sums" of gold and silver "due to the fact that her husband is preparing for the fall of the U.S. Government," the warrant states.
According to the warrant, Richard Camp also purchased "a significant" number of firearms and ammunition with proceeds from the theft.
A database search also revealed that Richard Camp purchased nine vehicles since the date of the first theft, the warrant states. Several of the vehicles were antique collectibles, the warrant states.
Richard Camp was unemployed "and has been for some time," according to the warrant. His wife was earning $80,000 a year at Swisher, the warrant states.
"The suspect's wife confessed that she had committed this offense at the direction of this suspect (Richard Camp) because he wanted more than she could afford to buy on her salary," the warrant states.