Whitney Moss, 24, Hulbert, was arrested on felony embezzlement charges Wednesday.
She was arraigned by Judge Rebecca Gore at 1:30 p.m. Gore read the felony embezzlement charge and told Moss the punishment may be up to 10 years in the department of corrections.
Mayes County Sheriff’s Office requested the help of Cherokee County authorities in locating Moss and making the arrest.
According to the probable cause affidavit, on Dec. 7, 2012, Deputy Ken Guess spoke with the sheriff’s office. He stated that Moss had spent $17,764.01 for personal use out of the fire department’s fund. Moss had written checks to herself to cash, made truck payments and paid utility bills with these funds.
Prior to that conversation, on Nov. 8, 2012, Lt. Alan Davis of the sheriff’s office uncovered a check on which Moss had forged Penny Dill’s name in order to cash the check for herself.
Investigation began shortly after, on Nov. 13, 2012. Osage firefighters participated in the investigation, supplying Davis with bank statements and records of transactions.
On that same day, Davis called Moss. In that conversation, Moss stated “she would just pay the money back if that would make it all go away,” according to the probable cause affidavit. When asked about specific transactions, she said she was out of a job and needed the money. She acknowledged that she was making truck payments, utility payments, and paid for Direct TV satellite to be installed in her residence. However, Moss believed the dollar amount the department was stating she embezzled was too high.
The figures received by the sheriff’s office show a total of $26,892.70 was taken from the Osage Fire Department account from May 2010 until November 2011. This amount was received from Wingard, Ragsdale and Langley Public Accounting Service, who Osage Fire Department hired to investigate.
Of this amount, $3,486.68 was paid to Arvest Bank for Moss’ truck payment and $10,311.28 were checks written for cash. She spent $8,198 of the total in Walmart and $235 in Homeland.
Moss will appear on the preliminary hearing sounding docket Feb. 14 at 9:30 a.m.