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Oklahoma City YWCA loses $280,000 to embezzlement

Oklahoma City YWCA officials say a former employee embezzled $280,000 from revenues generated by a resale store that sells used clothing to aid battered women.
by Randy Ellis Modified: January 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm •  Published: January 24, 2013

YWCA Oklahoma City officials say a former employee embezzled about $280,000 from revenues generated by a resale store that sells used clothing to aid battered women.

The embezzlement did not occur at the store, but involved revenues from the store, YWCA officials said.

The employee suspected of embezzlement has been terminated, said Jan Peery, chief executive officer of YWCA Oklahoma City.

Evidence was turned over to the state attorney general Tuesday for investigation and possible filing of criminal charges, she said.

Peery declined to identify the suspect. No arrest has been made.

Diane Clay, spokeswoman for Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said her agency's policy is not to comment on pending investigations.

The YWCA plans to file a lawsuit to try to recover embezzled funds, YWCA officials said.

All the embezzled money came from revenues generated by Our Sisters' Closet — a resale store at 2209 W Interstate 240 Service Road.

The store accepts donated clothing and resells items to support YWCA programs, including crisis services for battered women and children, Peery said.

Some of the donated clothing also is given directly to battered women and children who seek YWCA assistance when fleeing violent situations.

Peery said the embezzlement occurred “over a period of time,” but she declined to disclose the length of time for fear of interfering with the investigation. The store opened in April 2007.

Our Sisters' Closet used to operate another store in Edmond, but it is closed. Officials declined to say whether all the revenues that were embezzled were generated by the south Oklahoma City store.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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