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Former Police Pension Officer Accused Of Filing False Claims

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Charges were filed Tuesday against a former police pension director on allegations of filing false claims.

According to a court document, former Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System (OPPRS) Executive Director Steven Snyder was being reimbursed for personal trips and vacations while serving in an official capacity, and never used his annual or sick leave while on vacation or away from the office on personal matters.

The investigation into Snyder began in March, according to a press release sent to News 9 by the Oklahoma attorney general's office. That release indicated that an anonymous tip led to a review by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), which found potential wrongdoing.

Attorney General Mike Hunter emphasized that only operational funds were used for Snyder’s travel reimbursement and no pension trust funds were involved.

"I commend the thorough investigation by the agents and attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office and the collaborative effort by OMES," Attorney General Hunter said. "The evidence gathered shows an abuse of authority, which undermined the agency and its fiduciary responsibilities to its more than 9,000 police officers and their families. My office remains dedicated to those members and their families, while holding accountable those who attempt to take advantage of them."

Emails obtained by investigators show that Snyder would schedule impromptu meetings with investment firm representatives wherever he'd go for personal travel. He would then ask those representatives to bring portfolios or other documents to justify travel expenses, according to prosecutors.

According to the attorney general's press release, a charging document showed that in 2014, Snyder initiated contact with investment managers in New York while on a layover with his wife to Europe for a cruise from June 5-15, for which no annual leave was taken by Snyder.

During a 2017 layover in New York, on his way to a second European trip, an email from Snyder to an investment manager requests they review a portfolio before dinner so "that way, it is a [sic] expense deduction," according to prosecutors.

An interview with Snyder's predecessor, who served as the system's executive director for 25 years, said only on rare occasions was it necessary for him to travel out of state, prosecutors said.

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