Former Havana city clerk charged with embezzlement

Grissom alleges that Cox, acting as the Havana city clerk, took a document purported to be the official minutes of a Havana City Council meeting to Arvest Bank in Caney, where the City of Havana maintained its bank account, on Aug. 18, 2011. Those minutes claimed that city council voted on that same date to require only one signature, rather than two signatures, on the City of Havana checks written for city business. Acting upon that document, Arvest Bank allowed City of Havana bank account checks made out to Diana Cox to be cashed, or cleared City of Havana check deposits to Cox’s personal bank account. This resulted in a loss of $14,658 to the City of Havana.

 

On the count of wire fraud, Grissom alleges Cox obtained $44,568.51 from Cross Point Baptist Church in Caney and transferred about $2,536 of the church’s money to Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance to pay the mortgage payment of Cox’s daughter. Court documents allege Cox, who was a church officer, “knew full well she had no right nor permission to engage in such transaction.”

 

No hearing date has been set yet in which Cox will answer to the two charges.

 

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the bank fraud charge, and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the wire fraud count. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst is prosecuting.

 

As in all criminal matters, a person is innocent of crimes until proven guilty in a court of law or an admission of guilt. A “charge” is merely an allegation of conduct and does not declare a person’s guilt.

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