Former town treasurer charged with embezzlement

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STONEWALL, Okla. (KXII) - "Certainly [in] a small town, every dollar counts," Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian said.

Christian says deputies began investigating Jeanne Braum last month.

"The town council became aware that there may be some discrepancies, they asked for an audit from the State Auditor and Inspector's office," Christian said.

Braum is accused of embezzling about $17,000 from the Town of Stonewall from July 2013 through March 2016

"First was for paying for hours that she couldn't account for, that she had worked ... she paid herself," Christian said.

According the audit, Braum gave herself nearly $7,000 for that unaccounted time.

The audit also states she gave herself an additional $200 holiday bonus.

"She paid herself for an insurance stipend that wasn't approved," Christian said.

Court records indicate Braum issued 27 payroll advances totaling more than $7,000.

Christian says Braum paid back some of the money, but court records state at least $2500 in payroll advances hasn't been repaid.

"We've enacted some new rules on all money-handling employees, with a system of checks and balances," Stonewall mayor William Nichols said, "we're hoping to avoid this in the future."

Nichols says the city will now have periodic in house audits.

"No one will be involved with the books without the discrepancy of being watched over by someone else from a different department and by the city council itself," Nichols said.

If convicted Braum faces up to 5 years in prison, a 5-thousand dollar fine and must pay restitution.

She's due back in court in June.

"At times you have to look internally and make sure that everything is operating as it should be," Christian said.