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FIRST ON 3: African-American scammers targeting local black community with Black Farmers Settlement

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: African-American scammers targeting local black community with Black Farmers Settlement

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Scammers taking advantage of the federal government's Black Farmers Settlement are targeting the local black community.

Word got out that if you showed up Friday at the Ekklesia United Holy Church on 17th Street near Market, filled out an online form, then had it notarized on site for $20, you could apply to receive part of the proposed $1 billion settlement. The qualifications to apply for the settlement are very strict and only apply to very few black farmers and their families.

Officials tell us the online form is free to download and does not need to be notarized. It's also illegal to charge more than $5 for a notary stamp in North Carolina. A spokesman for the Black Farmers Claims Administrator, the independent group overseeing the settlement, says what's going on in Wilmington is "a total scam."

"Anyone soliciting clients indicating that they can get them into this lawsuit, by paying any amount of money is a scam," said Greg Francis, who is part of the Black Farmers Lawsuit Council. "There's no way to pay to be in this lawsuit at this point."

Francis says they have heard of these scams happening in other places around the country. He says they typically notify the United States Department of Justice.

We went inside the church looking for someone in charge. Everyone we talked with said no was in charge was there. The people taking applications also scooped up their forms and left while we were trying to get answers.

Det. Kevin Smith with the Wilmington Police Department says exchanging $20 for a notary stamp isn't fraud, because it's payment for a service. However, he says paying $20 for a worthless piece of paper is definitely a scam.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Well, I'm white too...

...and happen to find his ideology/questions quite correct and in line with the topic. Do you routinely have difficulty with your reading comprehension and recall of current events?


I'm white and I will be the first to tell you that his post is based on facts. So do tell how is that in anyway racist?

Seems a little ACORNISH

Why did law enforcement not escort the film crew and arrest these scammers? See how the women quickly turned on the reporter? That was the first sign that this was not legit. Instead of using this opportunity to promote their activity (if it was legal), they scrambled like the rats they are and went on the attack. The sad thing is they were preying on their own but blame others for taking advantage of "them".

I'll guarantee that the

I'll guarantee that the closest the majority of the people that showed up have actually ever been to a farm is using their EBT card at the grocery store.

I worked the public sector for a long while and I'm not a racist, I'm a realist. The greatest burden on our government services comes from a segment of society that thinks they are "owed" something just because. You only need to look at videos of riots and looting to see the mentality of justification.


Have you ever seen the smirks you get, when the well-heeled Escalade, Cadillac-driving, protected-class citizens, standing in line, pull out their EBT cards, paying for junk food, cigarettes, liquor, and McDonalds? Their bruthas simply enable the behavior, giving you that smug, snarky look, manning the cash register, enjoying their quota protected guaranteed jobs, with that "whatu lookin' at MF?". Oh yeah. Plain, in your face, confrontational, arrogance, courtesy of JFK, RFK, LBJ. Welcome to the "Great Society". Welcome to hell.


im sorry,you really are a racist. I was out there and most of the ppl were elderly or working poor ppl....and just so youll know, there are more whites on welfare than blacks.. Americas best kept secret.
Get your facts straight.

So true!

I worked for the Department of Social Services for years in Wilmington, NC in the Foodstamps Department. Most of my clients were white. They were soooo afraid that their friends, and co-workers would find out that they were getting foodstamps until we could not even call their jobs to verify their income.

Most of the fraud cases involved white people who lied about their income and about having the husband or wife in the home.

The only difference between the blacks,whites and hispanics who receive foodstamps and welfare, is that the blacks don't try to hide it. They consider it a fact of life. Hispanics have more babies to get more benefits. They know how to con the government because they are over looked.

The whites know how to scheme, and have their jobs cover for them so that nobody will know that they are using an EBT card to shop at SAMS Club.

BTW, I am white.

"Blacks consider..

Blacks consider it a fact of life????" Don't you think earning your own living should be considered a fact of life instead?

it should be

But unfortunatly too many people, black, white, hispanic & other races consider welfare a way of life. Why work when you can get it for free? That is the basis of the democratic party and their hatred of the evil rich.


"...we could not even call their jobs to verify their income."

Then you didn't do your job right, and you should have been fired.

Seriously, I think your post is total bullsh*t because Social Services would NEVER give out food stamps without verifying income. That's the biggest part of the process. That's just how they do it. They ALWAYS verify income or the applicant is not accepted. Period.


Social Services does not give out foodstamps without verifying income. However, the whites DID NOT WANT US to CALL THEIR JOBS to verify their income. They preferred to bring in every check stub possible in order to avoid the embarrassment.

Evidentally, I did my job correctly. I worked there for 10 years.

Face the truth about all races of people. There are liars, schemers and crooks in all of the bloodlines. The purpose of my post was to bring out the fact that a lot of these racist comments are incorrect.

Blacks did not try to hide the fact that they are receiving benefits. Life happens. Whites are too ashamed to admit that they need help and prefer to put on a false front among their family and friends when they are in fact doing the same things that other races are doing to get by.

Don't get upset! Just look at both sides of the fence. There is NO SUPERIOR RACE! Cons and crooks, and welfare cheats are everywhere in all races of people.

tattle on yourself

"could not even call their jobs to verify their income."

So what you are saying is you gave white people food stamps without the proper income verification? That is fraud on your part Miss Social worker. Thanks for spending our tax money for us.

At least the white people where somewhat ashamed of sponging off the taxpayers unlike the blacks who think its their right. You said a lot more in your post than I think you meant to say.


Typical comments that spews from hatred and ignorance.

Once again, you changed my words to take the focus off the truth.
Wilmington whites are a classic example of pure hatred and evil. Reading these posts bring tears to my eyes knowing that some of you are deacons, or elders of a church. Hatred is like a disease. The only way that you can be cured from this evil sickness is to face the fact that you are consumed with this disease.

Once again, my main point is: there is no superior race of people.
There are people in all races who are doing the same things to get by.
The only difference is, some try to hide it, and some don't.

The end.


You will never rise above what you fail to grasp......

Let's tell the WHOLE truth, shall we?

Yes, there are more Whites on welfare than Blacks, but that's because there are so many more Whites than Blacks in this country.

On a per capita basis, you have a six-times higher probability of being on Welfare if you're Black than if you are White.

Accuracy counts.


it will take her a week to figure out what you just said...


She will never figure it out..... Statistics are like quicksand to some... they just never see it the whole while it takes them down. **sigh**

Agree 100 percent

Agree 100 percent

The number on welfare...willia

"and just so youll know, there are more whites on welfare than blacks..."

>As a percentage of the white/black population or in total number? Care to cite your source for that statement?


There are about the same amount on some sort of public assistance per race BUT not percentage wise. Blacks make up 12% of our population and whites make up 72%. Do the math.

Where did you get your

Where did you get your PHD??? Blacks make up 12% of what population on what planet???? Surley not this one!You need to get back to the census and look again, or they just aren't counting the ones in prison! And all the baby Daddy, 12% isn't even the mixed children from this century!

try using your pc

Try using your pc for some research instead of trolling.

2010 Census. Blacks are 12.3 percent of the U.S. population, Hispanics are 16.3. Whites are 72.4%. The rest are Native Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders and you.

for real

It scares me hear you say that your not a racist and follow it by racist stereotyping. I served my country in combat and had a sense of confront by knowing my enemy. I have more respect for them because they knew they were the enemy. You on the other hand cant look in the mirror and see the racist, because you no longer wear the hood your grand daddy wore, you call yourself a "realist" Lets talk about the real reason there is a black farmers fund. Because old hood wearing "realist" ran black farmers out of business. And for you from up north, who asked about where are the black farmers. Before you moved here to enjoy the beachs and nice weather, there were many black farmers in this area. But your grandpops felt they were better served by working meaningless jobs directly for him and letting their wives clean his houses and riseing his kidds, "realist" and if you want to talk about the Church being the wrong spot. Maybe ole grand mom and dad shouldnt have packed a lunch basket after church on sunday to go watch the local hangings. The only videos I need to see to remind me of whats real is of you hood hiding card carrying tea party members are the one of the 1960s of the public beating and cowardly murderes. I pray when I think about you working in the public for years and yet you think the way you do of the people you served. For all those years you worked for the public, did you count the number of whites on social services? research it. This was a scam and a crime, but you cowardly racist find something else. You find a way to justify your sick thinking. There are much bigger crimes being commited by people wearing business suites and uniforms, like you serving the public and believing your not a racist. Thanks for your service.

And yet

And yet it is so easy for you to stereotype the tea party as racist. How are you so different than the person you criticized?

I'm with you on that, as I

I'm with you on that, as I worked in the public sector for four years before I got fed up with the entitlement mentality and had to get out. I'm still waiting for the race card to be played on this 'scam'. :)

The payout was a transfer of

The payout was a transfer of wealth scam and no more honorable than the $20 scammers.

I have to wonder...

Just how many "black farmers" lined up and how many "black farmers" live in Wilmington?

lots of them...

Baby farmers.

Shameful behavior by reporter and camera crew

While I find the story itself to be one that should be reported, I am very disgusted and disappointed that the reporter barged into a House of Worship so disrespectfully. Would they go into a Mosque or Temple in such a brazen manner? I think not!

Ms. Reporter, you should have interviewed people as they left instead of going into that church's SANCTUARY with your cameraman and microphone. Is nothing sacred any more? Of course, report on the story - chase down all the leads, but you could have done so without violating the church. How DARE you chase a story into God's House! A church is a place of worship - this church obviously believed it was doing a service to the community by allowing them to rent the space for that time period. Community Service is what the church should be about. Who do you think you are, going into God's House and being so disrespectful to the people who were there? Catch them as they leave and follow them to their cars asking your questions. And most importantly, if you think a crime is being committed-CALL THE POLICE!! They are certainly better equipped to deal with the matter than you.

Shame, SHAME on you! And SHAME on Channel 3 for not censoring you for being so blatantly inappropriate when coming into God's House!

AND another thing

If these people were legitimate they would have been given a government building space for the day NOT a church room. THINK about it.

Where the thieves black or white, just curious?