Tahlequah Daily Press

November 5, 2013

Enid woman faces 28 counts of obtaining money by false pretenses

Staff reports
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — An Enid woman was charged Tuesday in Garfield County District Court with 28 counts — 12 of them felonies — of obtaining money by false pretenses.

Crystal Nicole McKee, 39, faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000 on 11 of the felony counts and up to one year in county jail or one or more nights or weekends in jail and a fine up to $5,000 on the other felony count. She also faces up to one year in prison and/or a fine up to $1,000 on the 16 misdemeanor counts.

The 28 counts allege McKee made more than $28,000 in false expense reimbursements — dating from April 8, 2011, to May 20, 2013 — while she worked at Mitchel, Gaston, Riffel & Riffel PLLC.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Katresa Riffel reported on Aug. 27 to Enid Police Department a former employee had made illegal purchases and transactions using the company’s account.

Riffel said on Aug. 27 “Mrs. McKee was a model employee during her time of employment and recently quit the job unexpectedly without giving two week’s notice, at which time they became suspicious,” according to Justin Skaggs’ affidavit.

During the law firm’s investigation, “they uncovered that Mrs. McKee had made approximately 62 purchases using approximately $44,849.75 of the company’s money for her personal benefit,” according to the affidavit.

On Sept. 3, Skaggs met with Riffel, who provided a three-ring binder with copies of all 62 purchases, dated from April 8, 2011, to June 4, 2013, and ranging from $19.99 to $4,025.36.

“Mrs. Riffel stated she, along with other company personnel, spoke with the companies involved and found that the invoices provided by Mrs. McKee were fraudulent and the transactions for the company she claimed happened never did,” according to the affidavit.

Riffel also told Skaggs that some invoice confirmation numbers did not match what the vendors use, according to the affidavit.

“Mrs. Riffel stated Mrs. McKee would make purchases with her personal credit charge and have the items shipped to her residence,” according to the affidavit. “She stated Mrs. McKee would then provide their accountant with an invoice she made to show the items were purchased for the business to get reimbursed.”