405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Woman Accused of Embezzling from YWCA Oklahoma City

20-May-2013

The YWCA Oklahoma City is an organization whose mission is to help and protect women and children who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. Now, the organization's former chief financial officer is accused of embezzling more than $280,000 from YWCA in just over two years, in essence victimizing the women she was employed to help.

Shannon Marie Rickards, 41, was charged earlier this month with one count of embezzlement after allegedly stealing $281,410 from the YWCA Oklahoma City's thrift store, Our Sisters' Closet. Revenue from the resale shop was intended to support YWCA crisis services and programs for local women and children.

Investigators say Rickards admitted to transferring ownership of two bank cards to her name and to using those cards to withdraw funds from the resale shops accounts. Allegedly, she also admitted to altering bank statements to hide the embezzlement, which investigators say continued from October 2010 until January of this year. They say security footage from gambling establishments shows Rickards using the cards at ATMs at those locations.

The YWCA Oklahoma City began investigating after an official noticed an unauthorized withdrawal of $500. (Read the Affidavit of Probable Cause here.) When the investigation indicated that the CFO had been embezzling funds from the charity's resale shop, the organization terminated her employment. Rickards had worked for the YWCA Oklahoma City for five years. Her LinkedIn account still lists her as "Director of Finance/Grants Administrator at YWCA OKC."

She was charged on May 9 and turned herself in to police on May 13. She was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail and released.

Shannon Rickards was investigated by the Public Protection Unit of the Office of the Attorney General. In a press release about the case, Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt said, “Those who seek to take advantage of a charity must be held accountable. Unfortunately, a crime like this can harm a reputable charity like the YWCA and its staff who work diligently to serve the needs of women and children in our communities.”

Under Oklahoma law, the penalties for conviction of embezzlement are dependent upon the severity of the misappropriation and the value of the funds or property embezzled. For example, if the value is less than $500, embezzlement is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Embezzlement of $500 or more is a felony. The most serious penalties are associated with embezzlement of $25,000 or more, which is a felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and restitution to the victim. 

Anyone suspected of misappropriating funds should immediately seek legal counsel from an experienced white collar crime lawyer. If you are under investigation, it is advisable to protect your right to remain silent if you are questioned by employers or investigators and to insist upon having your attorney present during questioning.



All News

More News

Teen Who Urged Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Convicted of Manslaughter
19-Jun-2017

In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III attempted to take his own..

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Warrantless Cell Phone Location Search Violates Fourth Amendment
12-Jun-2017

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that cou..

Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Stabbing Death of Roommate
09-Jun-2017

A 72-year-old man is ordered to spend four years in prison after s..

Trial Delayed for Second Brother in Broken Arrow Quintuple Murder
29-May-2017

Shortly before midnight on July 22, 2015, police in Broken Arrow r..

Criminal Appeals Court Upholds Death Sentence for Triple-Murderer
26-May-2017

For the second time, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has af..

Poorly written bill leaves lawsuit loophole; Governor signs anyway
22-May-2017

When drafting legislation, it is imperative that language is clear..

Not Guilty Verdict in Tulsa Police Shooting; Officer's Job Status under Evaluation
19-May-2017

After nine hours of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict o..

Man Exonerated in Rape Case Awarded Compensation
15-May-2017

An Oklahoma man who was exonerated of rape after spending 13 years..

Trial Begins in Tulsa Police Shooting Case
08-May-2017

Jury selection begins today in the manslaughter case of Tulsa poli..

Oklahoma Death Penalty Remains on Hiatus
05-May-2017

It has been almost exactly three years since the botched execution..

×