Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Preliminary hearing set for former Oklahoma State U employee


An Oct. 17 preliminary hearing has been set for a former Oklahoma State University employee charged with embezzling more than $80,000 from the school. She is accused of spending it on sex toys and other personal items.
Cynthia Shirleen Low, 45, was in Payne County District Court on Monday. She pleaded not guilty to felony embezzlement charges on March 10, a day after she was arrested.
Prosecutors allege that from July 2008 to February 2010, Low purchased sex toys, clothes, electronics, jewelry and other personal items “that would not be used by the OSU Chemistry Department,” court records show.
Low, a resident of Yale, resigned from her position in OSU's Chemistry Department in February 2010.
Documents show that a fellow OSU employee approached authorities in March 2010, telling a university police officer that she believed Low was using her school-issued credit card to make personal purchases.
The informant also revealed several altered invoices to police, which allegedly showed that Low had doctored receipts to make improper purchases look legitimate.
An affidavit available online also indicates that investigators found evidence of invoice tampering on Low's work computer.
Federal court records show that Low and her husband, Tommy Alan Low, filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2008, claiming more than $150,000 in debt. About a month later, authorities say the embezzlement in OSU's Chemistry Department began in earnest.
Low, who faces up to 10 years in state prison and a hefty fine if convicted, is free on $25,000 bail.

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