POLITICS

Oklahoma State Senator Indicted For Embezzling Nearly $2 Million

He is the vice chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug 20 (Reuters) - An Oklahoma state senator was indicted on Thursday on charges of using his senior position with the Better Business Bureau of Tulsa to embezzle nearly $2 million from the organization, court papers filed online showed.

Rick Brinkley, a Republican, was charged with five counts of fraud relating to the scheme and one count of filing a false tax return, according to the documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

"Defendant Brinkley devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the BBB and obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representation, and promises," the indictment said.

Each fraud count is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors told local media.

Brinkley, a state senator since 2010 who is the vice chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has not commented on the charges.

He worked for the Better Business Bureau for more than 15 years and is accused of diverting funds from the organization into his personal accounts. He is also suspected of using BBB credit cards for personal expenses, the indictment said. (Reporting by Heide Brandes in Oklahoma City and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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