Couple accused of embezzling $25K from fire dept

Posted at 8:19 AM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 09:19:35-04

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A couple is being sought by police for allegedly embezzling more than $25,000 from a local volunteer fire department.

The Tahlequah Daily Press reports that the fire department’s treasurer Cynthia McCully, 46, and her husband, Frank McCully, 46, had been pocketing money from the Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. meant for membership dues and donations. Some of the funds, reports the Daily, were intended to be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. 

Sheriff’s Captain Casey Baker was alerted to the issue in February, says the Daily, and since then he has uncovered more than 20 checks that were forged.

Apparently members discovered the missing money after noticing that the bank statements didn’t line up with the details Cynthia McCully was providing at the monthly meetings.

“They all advised that during the monthly meetings that Cindy would give a treasurer report by giving each member a financial report that she had put on a spread sheet,” Baker told the Daily. “In January 2016, Cindy gave to the members a monthly report stating that the Spring Valley department had a total balance of $19,448.44; when the members actually looked at the bank statements from BancFirst, they actually had a total of $8,248.17.”

The Daily goes on to report, that Baker says Cynthia McCully kept skirting around when asked to provide the bank statements. Baker told the Daily she “kept giving an excuse and just would always give them the one she had printed up on the computer.”

Baker went on to tell the Daily that the some of the checks were made out to Frank McCully, Cynthia McCully, while others were just marked “cash,” or “reimbursement.”

Later it was also discovered that members who paid dues at the annual meeting either did so with check or cash. While the checks were reportedly deposited, the cash was not deposited, at least for 2014 or 2013. In addition, writes the Daily, around $5,000 donated and intended for the Muscular Dystrophy Association were also never deposited.

Baker reports that he was informed McCully was in charge of depositing the donation money.

Then in 2015, Baker reported that more than $6,500 was taken out of the fire department’s check book without notes but were not included in the treasurer’s report.

Currently, arrest warrants have been issued for Cynthia McCully for felony embezzlement and a felony count of obtaining cash or merchandise by false pretense for Frank McCully.