Former Horry County IT employee accused of stealing over $260K in equipment will plead guilty, attorney says

Former Horry County IT employee accused of stealing over $260K in equipment will plead guilty, attorney says
A former Horry County IT employee plans to plead guilty to stealing equipment from the department, according to his attorney. (Source: WMBF News)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A former Horry County IT employee plans to plead guilty in federal court to stealing over $260,000 from the department, according to his attorney.

Tommy Brittain, who is representing the man, said his client was named by the FBI as the suspect in the theft of approximately $267,920 worth of ethernet switches from the county’s IT department.

Brittain said his client signed an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office last week to plead guilty. The plea, however, must still be entered into the court docket and finalized, according to the attorney.

Once that is complete, the court will have a hearing to accept the plea, Brittain said. He added the suspect has not previously been arrested or processed.

Court records show the plea agreement was filed on Nov. 18 and Terry Shawn Petrill is listed as the defendant.

According to Brittain, Petrill admits wrongdoing and is throwing himself at the mercy of the court. He expects his client will be sentenced to two to three years in prison.

“This is a classic case of a moral mistake,” Brittain said.

Horry County spokesperson Kelly Moore confirms Petrill was previously employed in the county’s IT department as the chief information security officer from June 26, 2006 to Nov. 8, 2018.

An inventory and accounting audit led to the discovery of the missing hardware, a police report stated. The equipment had reportedly been purchased between June 2015 and August 2018.

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