Crime

Former Luther Utility Clerk Accused of Embezzlement

BancFirst SUmmer 2021

An arrest warrant is expected to be issued for the former utility clerk of the Town of Luther on felony charges of embezzlement.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office reports that an affidavit of probable cause was sent to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office who accepted the charges, said OCSO spokesman Mark Opgrande.

Lena Wright, 44, was terminated from her position with the Town of Luther following an executive session of the Board of Trustees during a meeting last June. An investigation ensued from there.

In August, the probable cause affidavit says an OCSO Investigator met with town officials who said that upon an audit of town banking records, approximately 30 discrepancies were found on the amounts paid for police fines, courts costs, utility deposits and or utility payments. The affidavit says all of those payments were made in cash and amounted to more than $4,300.

Following a review of the Town’s audit, banking statements and town account ledgers, your affiant observed the Defendant, upon receiving the cash paid for utilities, failed to deposit the money received into the Town’s banking account and falsified the Town account  by giving the citizen a “Credit” on their account. …. Following a review of the defendant’s work schedule, observed on one date, December 26, 2017, the defendant listed payments received from three separate citizens as credit on the Town computer accounting system,” reported Investigator M. Cunningham, deputy sheriff.

As of Tuesday evening, an arrest warrant had not been issued on expected charges of four felonies including one count of illegal use of a computer and three counts of embezzlement.

It is not the first time Town employees have been accused of stealing from the Town of Luther. The former clerk Donita Roby was convicted of stealing $48,000 from the Town. Her sentence included avoiding prison time if she paid the Town back $200 a month, but she had not kept up with those payments prompting the Town to sue her.

Regarding this case, Luther Police Chief David Randall and Mayor Jenni White declined to comment at this time.

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