Former Oklahoma senator pleads guilty to embezzlement charges, receives probation

OKLAHOMA CITY - Former Senator Kyle Loveless admitted to taking more than $100,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

The illegal activity took place between 2012 and 2016.

It forced the lawmaker to resign in April of this year, and on Thursday, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed three felony counts against Loveless, who pleaded guilty to each of them.

Loveless made a name for himself around the country as the go-to guy for civil asset and forfeiture reform, but all the while investigators say he was stealing money.

He pleaded guilty to three felony counts of campaign violations, including embezzlement of campaign donations, forgery by falsifying and filing a public record to cover up that embezzlement, and perjury for claiming those reports to be true to the Ethics Commission.

Court documents state Loveless “took in excess of $100,000 from candidate committees titled ‘Kyle Loveless for State Senate 2012’ and ‘Kyle Loveless for State Senate 2016’ and used that money for personal expenses."

Loveless' attorney, Mack Martin, says the case is closed.

When the accusations first came to light, Prater says he told Martin, if Loveless did not resign, Loveless would go to prison.

Days later, Loveless submitted his resignation and complied with every request, including paying more than $160,000 in restitution, more than $112,000 to the state of Oklahoma general fund.

That money went to the general fund because Prater said they would not put the money back into the same account from which Loveless embezzled, and there is no way of refunding that money to donors.

In addition, another $40,000 went to the Ethics Commission for the investigation and $10,000 to the State Election Board to cover the special election held to fill Loveless’s position when he resigned.

Loveless will serve out a three year suspended sentence which means he will be on probation, but if he violates any of the conditions he will go to prison.

He will also lose his state retirement.