Former Kellyville Indian Community Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement
TULSA, Okla. A Kellyville woman was convicted today in U.S. District Court of embezzling in excess of $1,000 from an Indian tribal organization, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.
Linda Kay Buchanan, 51, pleaded guilty to embezzling money from a Kellyville Indian Community general fund account from December 2014 to February 2018. The Kellyville Indian Community is a community of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Investigators estimate Buchanan embezzled more than $40,000 from the 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,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “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.”
The Kellyville Indian Community discovered Buchanan’s illegal activity after they removed her as treasurer. When board members tried to access monies from the general account that Buchanan was formerly responsible for, they discovered there were insufficient funds. Investigators found that Buchanan had illegally written checks made out to herself and to cash for her own personal use during her time as treasurer.
U.S. District Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell scheduled sentencing for Feb. 27. Buchanan was released under conditions until sentencing and potentially faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.
This case resulted from a joint investigation performed by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Attorney General’s Office and the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Cozzoni.