EL RENO, Okla. - Authorities are investigating a case of possible embezzlement at a Canadian County tag agency.
According to the El Reno Police Department, an officer was sent to the El Reno Tag Agency, located at 120 S. Rock Island Ave., earlier this month in reference to fraud.
Lt. Van Gillock said the owner, identified as Amanda Bosler, told police she needed to file a report on an alleged embezzlement. Bosler said she was audited by the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) in April.
"At that point, they knew it was pretty substantial amount of money," Gillock said. "They didn’t know how much. They really weren’t even sure on total number of license plates, decals, things like that might be missing or unaccounted for."
According to Gillock, the owner said most of the items missing were from an employee processing them for customers then voiding the transactions in the OTC computer system. Customers had paid for their items, but the items were not registered with the OTC.
The employee has been fired, but police tell us it's too early in the investigation to name any suspect. The case has been handed over to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).
"There’s so much documentation, financial documents that has to be gone through, and they’re far better equipped to deal with the magnitude of this and it’s also not just an El Reno situation since it goes to the Tax Commission," Gillock said. "From what I understand, the owner is going to be responsible for repaying the state of Oklahoma. The amount of money that is missing."
Agent Steve Tanner with OSBI told News 4 there's not much they can do right now as there is currently another audit in the process for the tag agency.
"The only thing I’ve been told at this point is it’s going to be over $100,000," Tanner said. "Some cases take up to six months to a year to investigate are white collar type crimes. In this case, it may not take that long. I know the concern is the tag agency is closed."
While the tag agency is closed, residents in El Reno will have to go to nearby agencies if they need help with things like licensing and notaries. Crystal Cookston was one of dozens on Tuesday afternoon in a for surprise when she tried to get her license changed.
"I have to get my license changed for my bank to deposit with my paychecks with my new married name on it so, today, I’m on my lunch break hoping to get it done quickly," Cookston said. "Now, I’m going to have to figure out another time where I can travel to Yukon to get the change made."
Cookston said it's not just inconvenient for her but also her employer.
"I work at Frontier," she said. "We’re a car dealership down the road and, everyday, we bring used vehicle inspections here as well and, so, that’s going to inhabit us from being able to do our business because this is where we go for the used vehicle inspection so I don’t know how we’re going to accomplish that at this point either."
In a statement, the Oklahoma Tax Commission said:
“Based on the results of a recent audit, the Commission felt it was in the best interest of the public to close the tag agency. We will be accepting applications and expediting the process of finding a new agent to serve the area.”