Oklahoma business briefs, May 10

Oklahoma business briefs, May 10
Oklahoman Published: May 9, 2014
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Oklahoma business briefs

Elk City wins $1M federal grant

ELK CITY — Elk City on Friday was awarded $1 million from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration to provide infrastructure needed to expand a city-owned industrial park. The investment is expected to create up to 100 jobs. “The EDA grant announced today will help Elk City make needed infrastructure upgrades which are crucial to both grow the local economy and attract new investment in the region,” Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said. Elk City in 2005 began developing the 162-acre industrial park, which has created hundreds of jobs in the area. In 2013, the city bought another 130 acres to expand the park, which had reached full capacity. The EDA grant will support the construction of a rail spur and switches, water and waste-water system installation, and road improvements.

Agent pleads to exploiting elders

A Tulsa insurance agent has pleaded guilty to exploitation of the elderly for defrauding a Muskogee couple out of nearly $300,000. Presley Keith Dennis was arrested in January after an investigation by the state Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit. The victims, an 80-year-old man and his 68-year-old wife, told investigators that Dennis convinced them to withdraw $300,000 from their annuities and invest it in his company, Dennis Investments, an unlicensed investment firm. They also said Dennis persuaded them to create a joint checking account with him so he could access the money to make investments. Instead of investing the money, Dennis spent it on past-due child support, country club memberships and restaurants, the department said. Dennis pleaded guilty to one count of exploitation of the elderly. He was given a 15-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay a $500 fine and $293,265.83 in restitution.