Charity director sentenced to federal prison for embezzling money

4/25/2017 - Oklahoma -- The now former director of the Canadian County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) charity has been sentenced to 10-years behind bars in a federal prison for embezzlement.

Traci Lorre Owens, 48, of Edmond was ordered last Friday to pay $55,143 in restitution upon her release from prison.

Owens pleaded guilty last year in an Oklahoma City federal court to a theft offense.

From approx Nov. of 2010 to July 2013, prosecutors argued that Owens created duplicate payroll checks for herself and also deposited checks for reimbursement of unauthorized expenses. Prosecutors also argued that Owens stole from the charity's "Children's Fund," an account described as containing gift donations.

Prosecutors allege the charity's losses to be around $70,000 - the defense argued the amount was closer to only $25,000.

Owens' thefts were discovered during an audit after Owens resigned under questions regarding her lack of work attendance.