Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Former Bethany-Warr Acres Public Works Authority Official is Sentenced to Serve 37 Months in Prison for Wire Fraud and Tax Fraud
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Yesterday, HELEN ROSE DEWEY, 61, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced by United States District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange to serve 37 months in federal prison for wire fraud and tax fraud, announced Mark A. Yancey, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
The Bethany-Warr Acres Public Works Authority (Authority) owned and operated the Bluff Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to furnish public and municipal services for the cities of Bethany and Warr Acres. Dewey began her employment as a secretary at the treatment plant in 1988. Throughout her career, Dewey gained more responsibilities and eventually became the Executive Assistant to the Director of the treatment plant in 2010. Her primary duties included purchasing and accounts payable where she purchased supplies and other items for the treatment plant. As part of her duties, Dewey was authorized to use Authority credit cards to make purchases for the wastewater treatment plant.
According to court records, beginning in January 2008 and continuing to August 2013, Dewey embezzled from the Authority by using the Authority’s credit cards to make unauthorized purchases. The majority of the purchases involved gift cards ranging from $25 to $200 in value. Dewey also used the credit cards to buy personal items. In addition, during 2012 and 2013, Dewey embezzled money from the petty cash fund. To conceal her activity, Dewey altered purchase orders and blocked out itemized purchases listed on receipts and falsified claims for approval and payment by the Authority. It was also alleged that Dewey falsified her federal tax return for 2012 by grossly under-reporting her income.
Dewey was charged by Information on October 28, 2015. She pled guilty on November 12, 2015, to committing wire fraud and tax fraud.
Yesterday, Dewey was ordered to serve 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and pay $974,034 in restitution to the Bethany-Warr Acres Public Works Authority and $233,674 in restitution to the IRS.
Reference is made to the court record for further information.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry Kelly.