After completing its investigation into the theft from the Piedmont police department, the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation has sent its finding to the Canadian County District Attorney’s Office.
District Attorney Michael Fields confirmed Monday the DA’s office had received the OSBI’s investigation last week and his office is “still in the process of evaluating it to determine if charges will be filed.”
The OSBI was investigating a theft of about $1,000 allegedly stolen in different increments at different times from the Piedmont police department.
It has not been made public whether it was a city employee or a Piedmont police officer who stole the money. If the DA determines this case to be a felony, charges are expected to be filed in Canadian County District Court.
Penalties for embezzlement vary in Canadian County. According to the statute, embezzlement is defined as “the fraudulent appropriation of property of any person or legal entity, legally obtained, to any use or purpose not intended or authorized by its owner, or the secretion of the property with the fraudulent intent to appropriate it to such use or purpose.”
The penalties for embezzlement in Canadian County vary.
Under Chapter 59, Title 1451, If the value of the property embezzled is One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or more but less than Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than five (5) years, and a fine of not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes; or if the value of the property embezzled is Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or more but less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by imprisonment in the county jail for one or more nights or weekends pursuant to Section 991a-2 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, at the discretion of the court, and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim.”
Under Subsection C, “Any county or state officer, deputy or employee of such officer, who shall divert any money appropriated by law from the purpose and object of the appropriation, shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years, and a fine equal to triple the amount of money so embezzled and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
The fine shall operate as a judgment lien at law on all estate of the party so convicted and sentenced, and shall be enforced by execution or other process for the use of the person whose money or other funds or property were embezzled.
Look for updates in the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette.