Gan Matthews, News 9
MOORE, Oklahoma -- A Girl Scout troop in Moore is trying to recover from a betrayal of trust. A woman who was once the troop's leader is now accused of stealing their cookie sales money.
Every year Girl Scouts raise lots of money by selling lots of cookies. They use that money to fund their trips and other troop activities.
But now 36-year-old Christa Utt, a former Girl Scout leader in Moore, is accused of embezzling money from her troop, much of it right out of the cookie jar.
"Allegedly part of the money that was taken was from the sale of the cookies, the proceeds from the girl scouts annual sales," said Moore Police Lt. Greg Anderson.
Detectives examined the troop's account at a Moore bank and found that Utt had embezzled some $5,300.
"I think it's shameful and it's sad that she would use the girl scouts, you know, something that's been around forever that little girls use, you know, that she would use that to get money and use people," said Moore resident Lauren Woosley.
"I think any kind of embezzlement should be punishable by law, you know, girl scout cookies, homeowners' associations, anything like that, any kind of corporation," said Moore resident Gayla Fortner.
The embezzlement leaves the Moore troop in the lurch, unable to fund its projects, unable to pay the national Girl Scouts office for the cookies.
"It is very disheartening that this type of thing would occur if indeed the allegations are true," said Lt. Greg Anderson.
Friday afternoon, Norman police arrested Christa Utt and brought her to the Cleveland County jail.
At this point, authorities say, only she knows what became of the money she allegedly took from the cookie jar.
Moore Police say part of the embezzled money also came from donations to a fund named in honor of a deceased Girl Scout leader.