Canadian County deputies arrested a woman accused of embezzling money from an organization for children, which she once oversaw.
Traci Owens, 45, of Yukon faces 72 counts of embezzlement. She's accused of embezzling more than $72,000 from the Canadian County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), an organization that helps abused and neglected children.
Investigators say Owens stole money from the Canadian County organization while she was the executive director. Owens was appointed the position in 2010 and resigned in 2013.
The employee that assumed her position found the financial discrepancies. That employee alerted county officials, leading to an investigation by the sheriff's office.
Investigators worked on the case for five months, putting together a compelling case for the district attorney's office to prosecute. The sheriff's office obtained a search warrant for Owens' residence in Yukon and a warrant for her arrest.
On Friday, March 28, deputies executed the search warrant at Owens' house in Yukon, seizing computer equipment, and additional documents substantiating the charges against her.
"My investigation shows Owens systematically abused her position by issuing herself extra payroll, bonus checks and other unauthorized expenditures, and all but bankrupted CASA," said Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards. "What makes this case so heinous is that the monies that were embezzled were to support under-privileged children and she spent it on herself, further victimizing these children."
Owens was booked into the Canadian County Jail on 72 counts of embezzlement. Her bond was set at $50,000. Owens posted bond and was released Monday evening. If convicted, she faces up to ten years in prison.