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Two Oklahoma cases of embezzlement violate trust of victims

Dora Ezzell, 67, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $63,000 from a dog breeder's club; Brian Austin, 42, admitted spending more than $1,000 raised by Little Leaguers to pay bills
by Tim Willert Published: February 4, 2013

The request seemed innocent enough to the parents of Little League Baseball players from Nicoma Park.

Coach Brian Austin and a woman thought to be his wife met with the team in March 2011 and announced plans for a fundraiser.

The players would sell chicken, sausage and bacon and raise enough money to pay for equipment, tournament entry fees and a party at the end of the season.

Several players participated in the fundraiser and collected more than $2,400, court records show. An assistant coach named Curtis Anderson said he turned in an order along with a check for $913.25.

But instead of using the money for its intended purpose Austin paid his cable bill and interest on a vehicle sitting in a pawnshop, then lived for two weeks on the rest of the money, according to a probable cause affidavit,

Austin, the assistant coach told investigators, told players and parents he would need to collect the money “up front” and that anyone paying with a check would need to make the check out to his wife, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Anderson said he “found this odd but really thought nothing about it since Austin was the head coach,” Nicoma Park police reported.

A month later, the assistant coach discovered Austin and the woman had “spent the money to live on and thought they could pay it back before it was due,” documents show.

Anderson could not be reached for comment.

Court papers charging Austin with one count of embezzlement revealed that he “fraudulently misappropriated” more than $1,800 raised by the Outlawz baseball team.

Austin pleaded guilty Jan. 11 and was sentenced to 180 days in the Oklahoma County jail as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. A judge suspended the balance of Austin's five-year sentence.

Issues with gambling

Dora Ezzell served as treasurer of the Mid-Del Tinker Kennel Club long enough for her gambling addiction to get the best of her.

Formed in 1960, the club encourages and promotes the advancement of all breeds of purebred dogs, according to its Facebook page. It also conducts dog shows, obedience trials, and sanctioned matches under the rules of the American Kennel Club Inc.

In May 2011, club president Billy Davison told authorities Ezzell had embezzled approximately $63,650.35 from club bank accounts between October 2007 and April 2011, according to a pre-sentence investigation report.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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