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

As Oklahoma County Jail Deaths Continue, Detention Officers Could Face Charges
15-Sep-2017

In May of this year, we examined deaths at the Oklahoma County Jai..

Canadian County Man Accused of Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography
01-Sep-2017

Acting on a tip received by the National Center for Missing and Ex..

Goodwill Employee Accused of Embezzling Deposits
21-Aug-2017

Police say the former assistant manager of a Goodwill store locate..

Stillwater Bail Bonds Agent Arrested for Murder
14-Aug-2017

A Stillwater bail agent who claimed she shot a client in self defe..

Tulsa Massage Parlor Owner Accused of Human Trafficking
11-Aug-2017

A Tulsa massage parlor owner has been arrested on human traffickin..

State Reaches Settlement with Former Death Row Inmate
07-Aug-2017

A former Oklahoma death row inmate whose conviction was later over..

Mother, Grandmother of Recovered Missing Children Arrested
04-Aug-2017

On July 3, David Corsaut texted his ex-wife to make arrangements t..

Couple Sentenced in Child Neglect Death of Infant
31-Jul-2017

A Tulsa mother and her boyfriend were sentenced last week in the c..

No Charges in MWC Home Invasion Shooting
24-Jul-2017

The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office has announced that ..

Couple Arrested after Reportedly Abusing Child and Making Him Shoplift
21-Jul-2017

A man and woman in Rogers County, Oklahoma, have been arrested on ..

×