Okeene woman charged with embezzlement

| July 2, 2010

ENID — An Okeene woman has been charged with two felony counts of embezzlement for taking more than $100,000 from an Okeene church in the past five years

Christine Mae Lorenz, 48, was charged with two counts of embezzlement by employee June 8 in Blaine County District Court.

The first charge alleges Lorenz took $127,748 sometime between Feb. 1, 2005, and May 19, 2009, from the Lindsay Fund checking account of First Baptist Church of Okeene. The second charge alleges between Feb. 1, 2005, and June 17, 2009, Lorenz took $48,895 from the general fund checking account of the church. Each charge is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

According to an affidavit by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent Shawn Wright, OSBI was contacted June 30, 2009, by Blaine County Undersheriff Margaret Parman to investigate allegations of embezzlement from First Baptist Church of Okeene by their former treasurer.

Lorenz held the position from September 2004 to June 19, 2009, according to the affidavit.

Wright’s investigation found Lorenz used her position with the church to convert a total of about $176,463 to her personal use, which does not include cash collections from the offering plate because there would be no way to establish a loss amount.

Lorenz purchased about 184 money orders using funds from the church’s accounts, the affidavit states.

The pastor of First Baptist Church of Okeene said he had no comments about the charges.

Matthew R. Oppel, of Kingfisher, listed in online court records as Lorenz’s attorney, was not available for comment Tuesday.

Lorenz posted $2,000 cash bond and will return to court Aug. 13 for a docket appearance, online court records show.



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Category: Church Security

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