The Oklahoma Beef Council has confirmed that federal authorities are investigating a possible $2.5 million embezzlement by a now former employee of the Council. Harvest Public Media, a collaboration by public radio stations in several High Plains states, broke the news on Jan. 5.
A statement by Heather Buckmaster, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Beef Council, reads that results on an internal investigation into potential wrongdoing has been turned over to federal authorities in Oklahoma. “Due to an ongoing criminal case and civil matters, we are limited in the details we can share,” Buckmaster said in the statement.
She did point out how the alleged crime was discovered. “When initial evidence was discovered, we immediately terminated the employee and hired an accounting firm to perform an extensive forensic analysis and assessment, which documented $2.6 million in employee theft between 2009-2016. The Oklahoma Beef Council provided this information to Federal authorities in September to ensure swift action could be taken. Our goal throughout this process has been to speed recovery and restitution to the greatest extent possible. The board of directors and staff have cooperated fully with Federal authorities as the investigation has moved forward.”
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