Last week, a former superintendent for Pauls Valley schools was charged with ten counts of mishandling district funds. After Oklahoma embezzlement charges were filed, local police arrested Bobby Don Russell, 60, without incident at a traffic stop.
After his arrest, Russell was booked into the Garvin County jail pending $20,000 bail. Though court documents and criminal charges accuse Russell of embezzling more than $44,000 in Pauls Valley school district funds, a probable cause affidavit alleges the amount of the fraudulently acquired funds could exceed $80,000.
Russell is alleged to have embezzled the money between February 2009 and July 2010. He resigned as superintendent of Pauls Valley schools in August. According to court documents and local news reports, Bobby Don Russell embezzled funds through false payments, appropriating checks to the district for his personal use, and false reimbursement claims. He is charged with four counts of embezzlement and six counts of obtaining money by false pretense.
His Oklahoma white collar crime charges are the result of the following embezzlement or misappropriations:
- Two checks totaling $5902 paying his wife for summer school classes she did not teach
- Four falsified reimbursement claims totaling $10,012 for payments Russell claimed to make to a nonexistent educational software company, and audio equipment company, another school district, and to purchase district supplies
- Using two district checks totaling $23,000 for his own use
- Using two checks to the district from Elmore City-Pernell schools, totaling $5454, for his own use
Though a probable cause affidavit alleges Russell to have embezzled more than $80,000 in school district funds, approximately $35,000 of that amount is unaccounted for in charging documents.
Defense of Fraud Charges
Pauls Valley police did not specify how Russell is alleged to have used the misappropriated school funds. Embezzlement in Oklahoma is a felony punishable by a maximum of ten years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and restitution for all improperly obtained funds.
To learn more about fraud charges and potential defense strategies click here.