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Former Miami chamber employee charged with embezzlement

A bench warrant was issued

MIAMI, Okla. - The courts issue a warrant for a former Miami, Oklahoma chamber employee charged with embezzling nearly $100,000.

A bench warrant is issued for the arrest of Brandy D. Smith. She's the former Vice President of Operations for the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce.

According to court documents, Miami Mayor Rudy Schultz met with Detective Tyson Barnes on July 26th to file a report.

Shultz said Smith had been an employee at the chamber for about nine years. She became VP of Chamber Operations in late 2017. That job is to pay bills, do payroll and handle all finances of the organization.

In late May, Shultz says a local casino called the Chamber Board Secretary/Treasurer, asking if they knew Smith was paying for hotel rooms with the chamber credit card.

Chamber officials say they did not authorize any personal use of the card.

The Chamber Board Secretary called Smith, according to court documents, and says she reacted with surprise, insisted it was an error on her part and would reimburse the Chamber.

Schultz says, after they looked at the credit card bill, they found that she had booked hotel rooms in Branson with the chamber card six days after they talked about the first incident.

According to court documents, Shultz and Smith agreed that the best thing would be for Smith to resign from her position.

An audit of the payroll and other finances for the chamber found that Smith had paid herself $42,974.62 in 2018, not including her regular salary. She paid herself multiple times each month, according to court documents.

The auditor also found that Smith gave herself unapproved bonuses and a raise at the beginning of 2019.

The total amount of the alleged misused finances totaled $97.696.40.

Judge Bill Culver approved the warrant and it was filed by the District Court of Ottawa County on Friday, August 30th, 2019.
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