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Moore woman charged with stealing from high school softball team

MOORE, Okla. - A woman is accused of stealing from the high school softball team she was entrusted with.

Michelle Gates is charged with embezzlement after police said she stole $4,458.27 from the Moore Lady Lions Softball Association.

According to police, it happened August through December 2017.

Gates allegedly withdrew cash from ATMs, wrote and cashed checks, and used the debit card for online and point of sale purchases, leaving the account depleted.

"A negative balance is what threw up red flags so, when the person looked more into it, he found out there was money supposed to be in there that wasn't," said Moore Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeremy Lewis.

Lewis said embezzlement from booster clubs is more common than you might think.

"It's very easy to take the money, and they don't think that something like this will happen and then they end up not able to put it back or just caught stealing it," he said.

The affidavit states Gates told police the money was sent to someone harassing her on Facebook and used for personal items.

But, no matter the reason, it's a serious crime Lewis said is made worse when kids are the ones affected.

"To them and the ones that are doing all the fundraising, the parents that are working hours and hours to raise that money, it's a huge deal," Lewis said.

According to the affidavit, Gates told police she would pay it all back.