Woman accused of embezzling thousands from little league arrested

Posted at 9:14 AM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 19:12:51-04

TULSA-- A woman is arrested and charged with felony embezzlement in Pawnee County. 

Cleveland Police say that Halee Swafford is accused of embezzling more than $16,000 from the Cleveland Youth Football and Cheerleading League and the Cleveland Youth Softball and Baseball Organization in just two months.

Swafford, whose children were part of both organizations, served as secretary for the C.Y.S.B.O.

Presidents of both organizations told police they would sign blank checks and give them to Swafford to buy goods and services needed for the teams, like items for the concession stand.

Records show Swafford made the checks out to herself for arbitrary amounts and would pay for the necessities for the organizations but would keep money for herself. Sometimes, the arrest warrant said, she would keep all the money.

The C.Y.S.B.O. found discrepancies in their checking account and alerted the C.Y.F.C.L. They found a negative balance in their account.

The affidavit said when the president of the C.Y.S.B.O. asked for copies of receipts for the expenses, she offered to take out a loan from the bank to make up for the missing money.

Swafford's bank records were seized and the amount missing from the organizations nearly matched the transactions in her personal bank account.

Police interviewed Swafford in August. They said she admitted to stealing the money. The arrest warrant affidavit said she wrote as part of a voluntary statement "I took checks and cashed them to my name, while doing that I kept money from some of the checks. This money was the property of the baseball board in Cleveland. Money was spent on personal expenses and day to day living The amount was somewhere over $5,000."

"She came up with allegations that she was a victim of domestic abuse and she was going to use that money to pay someone to get her out of this abusive relationship," Cleveland Police Chief Clinton Stout said. "Then later in the interview admitted that was a made up story."

Throughout the months long investigation, Chief Stout said they learned Swafford had $2,000 worth of uniforms made by a local business for a team she coached. He said she took the uniforms but never paid. He expects that to be a civil matter.

"It's a small town and a small town business. Two-thousand dollars is a big hit," Chief Stout said.

Brian Torres children are a part of the C.Y.S.B.O. He said he saw her at games.

"You sit next to this individual and you would have never dreamt it at that point," Torres said. "She always had the right things to say."

He said looking back there was writing on the walls. Torres said when Swafford moved to Cleveland, she bragged about the money she raised for other similar organizations in Green Country. He felt like she was going to be an asset.

"We did some research when we found out and they don't even know who she is," Torres said.

On both the C.Y.S.B.O and C.Y.F.C.L. Facebook pages, Swafford is listed as a point of contact for registering for tournaments.

"She brought a lot of that responsibility on herself so she could prey on these individuals on these fundraisers they were doing," Chief Stout said. "She wanted to be the hero and do it all by herself, but she had an evil motive behind it."

Chief Stout said the investigation has been underway for months. He said since they interivewed Swafford, she moved out of Cleveland, checked herself into a mental hospital and disconnected the phone numbers they had for her.

Police issued a felony warrant over the weekend, and Swafford turned herself in on Sunday night. 

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