SHAWNEE, Okla. - A former Pottawatomie County clerk is charged with embezzlement after officials say she stole thousands of dollars from the county.
Officials discovered the crime when a citizen called the county treasurer's office asking about his property taxes.
Det. Ken VanDuser, with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Department, said, "They looked at the computer and said, 'Well, you haven't paid your taxes.' That opened up the door to investigating why he had a receipt showing he had paid taxes but the computer showed he hadn't."
County treasurer, Wendy Magnus, found dozens of discrepancies and asked the sheriff's department to investigate.
They arrested 31-year-old Jamie Lynn Pickard.
She'd been a clerk at the county treasurer's office for about a year and a half.
The detective in charge of the case says Pickard admitted to the crime.
Det. VanDuser said, "She had started off by stating that she thought it was around $2,000. By the end of the interview, she had said, 'Well, it's somewhere between 4 and $7,000.' Right now in the investigation, we're up to over $25,000."
Authorities say Pickard would give the taxpayer a receipt, then void the receipt in the computer and pocket the cash.
She maneuvered around the office's checks and balances.
He said, "They check their cash drawers every day. And her drawers always came up to what it should be. But she was smart enough to get in there and remove the money prior to that."
Pickard's sister-in-law says she regrets her actions.
"She's not a bad person. I mean, she has a problem and she's taking care of it," said Monica Pickard. "She just made a very bad mistake. And she's going to have to eat it for a very long time."