More than $150,000 was withdrawn with the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce check card between February 2006 and December 2011, taking the total ATM transactions in the past 8-1/2 years to around $420,000.
Bank records show most withdrawals were made at bank or QuikTrip ATMs in Oklahoma, though a few others were made at casinos and horse racing tracks.
The check card was used at least 885 times to withdraw money during the first six years available in bank records, but it was used hundreds of other times to make purchases at convenience stores, retailers, restaurants and hotels.
When allegations became public that chamber funds might have been misappropriated, then-President Stanley Young said the board of directors didn’t know the check card existed. He also claimed former Executive Director David Moore was the only person to have access to the card.
Chamber officials initially provided the Daily Press with copies of bank records from January 2012 to June 2014. Those accounts show the chamber’s check card had been used more than 780 times to withdraw around $270,000 from ATMs in the past 30 months.
Copies of bank records from 2006-2011 were provided this week, though statements from January and July of 2006 are missing.
Treasurer Stephen Highers said those two months’ records were not found in chamber files, and Bank of America is able to provide only the past seven years’ worth of records.
Of more than $150,000 withdrawn from ATMs from 2006 to 2011, about $3,500 was taken out of machines at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, River Spirit Casino, and Remington Park, the records show.
In total, at least 1,665 withdrawals were made at ATMs at a total cost of around $420,000 in the past 8-1/2 years; of that, nearly $130,000 was withdrawn or used for purchases at area casinos.
Aside from casino purchases, other drafts also could be questionable.
Bank records show the chamber check card may have been used to purchase tickets to a Madonna concert in May 2008 at a cost of $460, and for a Coldplay event in March 2009, for $255.
Bank records show the chamber’s check card was used two times in February 2008 at “New Age Renegade,” a Tulsa club that touts “the best in female impersonation, karaoke, as well as monthly production shows” on its Facebook page. The first trip accounted for $41, and the second trip for $61. A $41 charge was also made at the same club in March 2008.
Tickets were purchased through the BOK Center on Dec. 13, 2008, for $107, though bank records do not specify the type of tickets.
Ted’s Cafe Escondido, the site of several charges from 2012 to 2014, also surfaced in the records from 2007 and 2011. More than $1,000 was paid at the Tulsa cafe during a 2007 visit, and a $362 charge was made during a 2011 trip.
Restaurant tabs, fast-food costs and purchases at convenience stores account for many of the items listed each month in the chamber’s bank statements.
Some expenses do appear to be costs of materials for chamber programs, promotions, and training events.
Board members have suggested some legitimate purchases were likely made with the chamber check card, but it will ultimately be up to criminal investigators and the state auditor to sort through the list.
Board President Dr. Steve Turner said this week that the board has been unable to find records that audits of the chamber have been conducted after 2006.
Moore resigned in June when accusations were made public that former Tourism Director Kate Kelly’s medical and dental insurance had lapsed. Kelly ultimately told a board member about the problem, but she was ultimately fired.
Tahlequah police detectives asked for assistance from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to probe criminal allegations, and the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector is also involved in the investigation.