PURCELL, Okla. – Lottery tickets to New York strips, school supplies to Lil’ Smokies, Purcell Police say a woman, who worked closely with the “Community Youth Activities Program” embarked on a two year personal shopping spree, embezzling more than $23,000.
Detective Kevin Austin said, “She bought a lot of wedding frames, upright vacuum, Dr. Dre beat headphones. Those are expensive? They are expensive. I wish I had a pair.”
The money was earmarked for programs and improvements, geared specifically to the children of this small community.
The youth organization had planned on building a skate park at 2nd and VanBuren in Purcell, but when the board went to transfer money from an account, they discovered thousands of dollars were missing. The money trial lead right back to an employee.
Detectives spent weeks reviewing receipts and found a total of 69 checks, written for personal use.
Jason Johnson is a father of three. He can’t understand how anyone could steal from children. “I think its disgraceful. The money is put back for a reason. It’s obviously not going there. It’s shameful.”
Board members say the skate park and fun zone project will not move forward as scheduled. And unless the “Community Youth Activities Program” can replenish its savings, the non-profit group may be forced to shut down permanently.
The DA is reviewing the case now and expects to file charges by Monday, May 19th.