CASHION, Okla. – Formal charges have been filed against two former Cashion town officials; a husband and wife accused of embezzling thousands from the city.
It’s the result of an investigation that’s been going on for several years now.
Back in 2009, the Cashion police chief resigned amid charges of conspiracy and fraud.
The City’s Emergency Services Director and town clerk also ended up being fired amid allegations of embezzlement.
Now, the husband and wife are facing criminal charges and warrants for their arrest have been issued.
The findings are detailed in a 31 page special investigative report from the state auditor’s office.
They outline questionable purchases and suspicious payments made to former Cashion Emergency Services Director, Daniel Clark.
His wife, Stephanie Clark, was the town clerk at the time and responsible for approving the payments and purchases.
Auditors turned over their findings to the Kingfisher County District Attorney who has now filed charges of embezzlement and conspiracy against the couple.
According to the probable cause affidavit, “Daniel Brent Clark knowingly submitted false claims for hourly wages for ambulance service shifts during which (he) did not work.”
Officials also allege the Clarks used a Walmart credit card issued to the town of Cashion to buy things for personal use like rifle ammunition, dog food and treats, a TV and laundry basket.
The probable cause affidavit also alleges they did the same thing on the town of Cashion PayPal account, buying paintball equipment, an underground electric fence system and a Playstation 3.
State auditor, Gary Jones, said it’s not uncommon for people who are related to each other to be in charge of small town finances.
“In small communities, we find that a lot,” Jones said.
In many cases, Stephanie Clark was the only one who signed her husband’s paychecks or signed off on the charges and payments made to stores.
The state auditor made the same recommendation to the town of Cashion he’s made several other places as well.
“Setting up that system of checks and balances and make sure that the same person’s not going through the process of approving something, writing the checks and reconciling the bank accounts,”Jones said.
According to the state auditor’s report, the Clarks refused to speak with auditors about the investigation.
They no longer reside in Kingfisher County but the sheriff there said he expects their arrests could come soon.