The Law Blog of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Mom Wanted for Robbing Daughter's Trust Fund

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Garvin County Sheriff's Deputies and the OSBI are searching for an Oklahoma woman they say cleared out her daughter's trust fund.

According to a press release issued on the OSBI Facebook page, a trust fund was set up for the daughter of Sheryl Lynne Clark, 50, after a Worker's Compensation award for the death of the girl's father. The girl was to gain access to the trust fund when she turned 18 years old.

After the trust fund was set up, a Workers Compensation Court judge approved Clark, of Davis, to make two withdrawals from the account at Pauls Valley National Bank for the "care and welfare" of her daughter.

In December 2016, after the girl turned 18 years old, she went to the bank to withdraw her trust fund money. However, when she arrived at the bank, she learned that there was no money left. The young woman notified the sheriff's department, who in turn contacted the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for help with the case.

OSBI agents traced more than $36,000 in fraudulent withdrawals to the girl's mother. She is accused of forging the judge's signature to gain access to the account on multiple occasions between April 2014 and June 2015. 

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Sheryl Lynne Clark on complaints of six counts of first degree forgery and one count of embezzlement. Authorities believe the woman is in hiding, and the OSBI is asking anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts to call the OSBI hotline at 1-800-522-8017.

Under Oklahoma law, first degree forgery is a felony punishable by 7 to 20 years in prison. Embezzlement is a crime which is punishable depending on the value of money or property misappropriated. Under existing law, which will be superseded effective July 1, 2017, embezzlement is punished as follows:

1. If the value of the property embezzled is less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), any person convicted shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not more than one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment;

2. If the value of the property embezzled is Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or more but less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), any person convicted shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by imprisonment in the county jail for one or more nights or weekends pursuant to Section 991a-2 of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes, at the discretion of the court, and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes;

3. If the value of the property embezzled is One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or more but less than Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than five (5) years, and a fine of not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes; or

4. If the value of the property embezzled is Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) or more, any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than ten (10) years, and a fine not exceeding Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

In July, the law will change to raise the threshold for prosecution of certain white collar property crimes. The new law will outline penalties for embezzlement as follows:

1. If the value of the property embezzled is less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), any person convicted shall be punished by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not more than one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment;

2. If the value of the property embezzled is One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or more but less than Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than five (5) years, and a fine of not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 99lf of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes; or

3. If the value of the property embezzled is Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) or more, any person convicted shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not more than ten (10) years, and a fine not exceeding Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), and ordered to pay restitution to the victim as provided in Section 991 f of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Click here to learn more about embezzlement and white collar crime laws in Oklahoma.

Image credit: 401kcalculator.org


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