Former community treasurer pleads guilty to embezzlement

Former community treasurer pleads guilty to embezzlement
(Stock Photo) Linda Kay Buchanan is due back for sentencing on Feb. 27 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer

More than $40,000 taken from December 2014 to February 2018

TULSA, Oklahoma — A Kellyville woman has been convicted of embezzlement in excess of $1,000 from a Muscogee (Creek) Nation community, according to a Nov. 26 press release from the Northern District office of U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Linda Kay Buchanan, 51, pleaded guilty to embezzlement from the Kellyville Indian Community’s general fund account from December 2014 to February 2018.

Investigators estimate that Buchanan, who had been a treasurer on the community board, embezzled more than $40,000 from the tribal organization’s general fund.

“Ms. Buchanan had a fiduciary responsibility in her position of financial oversight of bank accounts. She acted selfishly toward the community she was trusted to serve for more than three years,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said in the release. “Embezzlement and financial corruption can be devastating with far reaching losses. It is through a strong collaborative partnership between the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Attorney General’s Office and the FBI that Ms. Buchanan was brought to justice.”

According to the release, the board learned of Buchanan’s activity after it had removed her from the treasurer position. When board members tried to access monies from the general account, they learned there were insufficient funds.

Investigators found illegally written checks from Ms. Buchanan made out to herself for personal use.

Buchanan remains free and released under conditions, until her scheduled sentencing from U.S. District Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell on Feb. 27.

Ms. Buchanan faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

This case was a joint investigation from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Office of the Attorney General and the FBI, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Cozzoni.

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