Chief Financial Officer At OKC YWCA Charged With Embezzlement

Friday, May 10th 2013, 5:37 pm

The Chief Financial Officer with the Oklahoma City YWCA is charged with embezzlement. Prosecutors say she stole more than $280,000 from the charity.

That CFO: Shannon Rickards had until 5 p.m. Friday to turn herself in or a warrant would be issued for her arrest. But according to prosecutors Rickards embezzled the money from the YWCA’s resale shop My Sisters’ Closet.

5/10/2013 Related Story: Woman Charged with Stealing $280K From OKC YWCA

Court documents say she applied for debit cards from the store's bank account in other employees names and then between October 2010 and January of this year used the cards to withdraw the cash.

One of the cards was in CEO Jan Peery's name.

“It’s pretty devastating,” said Peery on Friday. “We work with victims of crime all the time and then to turn around and be a victim and not only the devastation of having the theft happen, but then it’s somebody you know and trusted and then it’s somebody that understands the impact of what those dollars support.

Investigators say a YWCA finance clerk first noticed a suspicious withdrawal and that led to an investigation within the charity. Rickards would eventually confess to stealing the money.

“It is a lot of money and it’s put a tremendous strain on us,” Peery said.

Peery says the theft comes as the need for the YWCA's services is increasing dramatically but they have worked to close the gaps in policies that would allow this to happen again.

“We are the only domestic violence shelter in Oklahoma County and we want to do whatever we can to maintain that trust.”