Tulsa Football Player Charged with Embezzlement in Oklahoma

On Saturday, the Oklahoma Sooners opened their college football season by taking on the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.  The game was noticeably without OU's starting linebacker Austin Box, who died in the offseason of a lethal combination of painkillers.  The Sooners also played without Travis Lewis, who was out with a broken toe, and Kenny Stills, who was suspended after a January DUI arrest in Oklahoma.  The Sooners were not the only ones missing players, of course, as Tulsa was also missing a player due to suspension following an arrest. TU wide receiver Damaris Johnson was charged with felony embezzlement in Oklahoma, and he was arrested just two days before the Hurricanes' opening game against the Sooners.  According to media reports, Johnson surrendered with his Oklahoma white collar defense lawyer and was released on pretrial release conditions.  Johnson's girlfriend, Chamon Jones, was also charged with felony embezzlement and was released from Tulsa County Jail on $2,000 bond. Johnson and Jones are accused of embezzling more than $2,600 in merchandise from a store in the Promenade Mall in Tulsa.  The allegations claim that Jones, who worked for Macy's department store in the mall, would ring up merchandise for Johnson, but charge him far below the retail price.  In one instance, Jones is accused of selling Johnson $1,238.75 worth of merchandise for only 34 cents. Under Oklahoma embezzlement law, the value of the property embezzled determines the severity of the charge and punishment:

  • Less than $500:  Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine
  • $500 to $1,000:    Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine and restitution to the victim
  • $1000 to $25,000:  Felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine and restitution to the victim
  • More than $25,000:  Felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and/or up to $10,000 fine and restitution to the victim
According to these guidelines, Demaris Johnson and Chamon Jones, who have been charged with felony embezzlement, face up to five years each in the state penitentiary.  Johnson and Jones are represented by the same Oklahoma embezzlement lawyer. Demaris Johnson is a three-year letterman for the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes.  As a starting wide receiver, Johnson has accrued 29 career touchdowns.

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