A District 13 Court Reporter has been charged with felony embezzlement in Ottawa County after allegedly embezzling more than $4,000 from the Oklahoma Court Reporters Association.
TreLinda Christine (Neely) Wilson, 45, Miami, was charged earlier this month in Ottawa County District Court with allegedly embezzling $4,021.28 from OCRA between November 2012 and July 2017.
She was released on Feb. 7, on a $5,000 bond. If convicted, Wilson faces up to five years in prison, as well as restitution and fines.
As of press time, Wilson continues to work as a court reporter within the judicial district, primarily in Delaware County.
District Judge Barry Denney asked John Kane, the presiding district judge for the Northeast Judicial Administrative district, to re-assign the case due to a possible conflict of interest.
Kane has appointed Mayes County Judge Rebecca Gore to oversee the proceedings. Wilson’s next court date is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15.
Denney said Wilson will remain employed as a court reporter while the charges move toward resolution.
District 13 District Attorney Kenny Wright said at this time Wilson’s court reporter license remains in good standing with the state’s Court Reporters Board.
The five member board, all certified shorthand reporters appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, conducts disciplinary proceedings of its members, among other tasks.
About the Charges
According to the report filed by Detective Tyson Barnes of the Miami Police Department, Barnes was contacted in late November 2018 by Corporal Lance Bacon regarding a possible embezzlement case with the OCRA.
Barnes then met with Shelley Ottwell and Angela Sargent, president-elect and president, respectively, of the organization.
Ottwell and Sargent told Barnes a review of the bank statements from 2016 and 2017 indicated Wilson allegedly mishandled the organization’s funds which were part of a bank account at Miami’s Arvest branch.
The pair told Barnes Wilson became the secretary/treasurer of the organization in 2011 when the previous secretary/treasurer became ill.
The alleged embezzlement came to light after Wilson contacted Sargent via a text message on Nov. 1, 2018, asking to talk.
After consulting an attorney, Sargent called Wilson back.
Sargent allegedly gave Barnes a recording of the call, in which Wilson told her she used OCRA funds for personal use.
In the call, Wilson allegedly told Sargent she would pay all the money back and requested no one else be notified, because “she did not want charges brought against her and couldn’t lose her job over this.”
Barnes report stated he reviewed the recording, and indicted Wilson admitted owing OCRA for some credit card charges and at least one personal check.