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Oklahoman Published: September 26, 2008
TULSA -- Tulsa County prosecutors have alleged that a state Department of Human Services employee stole thousands of dollars from a vulnerable adult.

Debra Maxine Roberts, 50, a DHS Adult Protective Services specialist, is accused of abusing, exploiting or neglecting Claude Spencer, a 74-year-old mentally disabled Sand Springs man.

According to a DHS special agent's affidavit, Roberts received a court order assigning her as a temporary guardian for Spencer from June 28 to Nov. 27, 2007. During that time, she had the authority to use Spencer's money to pay for his residential care and daily expenses.

The affidavit states that bank records from Sand Springs Community Federal Credit Union show that Roberts made five cash withdrawals from Spencer's accounts after her guardianship ended. Those cash withdrawals from Dec. 3, 2007, to April 1 totaled approximately $3,965.

Records from another area bank show that Roberts made two cash withdrawals that totaled $3,500 from Spencer's accounts this year, according to the affidavit. Employees of both banks said they were never notified that the guardianship had ended.

When confronted by special agents, Roberts said she did not know that she was not supposed to access Spencer's accounts after her guardianship had been dismissed, according to the affidavit.

When shown records of the credit union and bank transactions, Roberts indicated that she did not remember where the money was spent, the affidavit says. A special agent also interviewed Spencer, who said he never granted Roberts permission to take money from his accounts, according to the affidavit.

Roberts was booked into the Tulsa Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $50,000.

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