Two accused of scam have some charges dismissed; others remain

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
KANNAPOLIS — Several charges were dismissed last week against a couple accused of scamming people out of their money starting in 2005. But they face more charges after a grand jury issued indictments last month.
Sammy and Sheila Biggerstaff were charged with several counts of felony obtaining property by false pretenses, which the court dismissed a week ago because the couple were indicted on other related felonies.
The District Attorney’s Office dismissed 12 charges of felony obtaining property by false pretenses against Sheila Biggerstaff. There are 25 charges against Sheila Biggerstaff still pending in Superior Court.
The District Attorney’s Office dismissed 16 charges of felony obtaining property by false pretenses against Sammy Biggerstaff.
He has 54 charges pending.
A grand jury indicted the couple in late July on additional charges for obtaining property by false pretenses and the matter is still pending. The indictments include various offense dates from 2005. The Biggerstaffs were charged in 2008.
According to an indictment, the Biggerstaffs said they would invest money in a foreign investment called PIPS, when in fact the money was converted to their own “personal use and benefit.”
The investment company went by several names, including People in Profit Systems, Private Investment Profit System or Pureinvestor and PIPS Financial Services.
The Biggerstaffs told investors their investment in the PIPS program could earn interest at a rate of 2.5 percent per day to be compounded daily, authorities say. Many people invested from $500 and as much as $12,000.
The case languished in the court system until mid-2010 when Assistant District Attorney Tom King met with 11 people who said they lost money. The case was resolved, but when more investors came forward, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office reopened the case.
The Biggerstaffs have said they also invested money and were duped like other investors.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.