Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sallisaw Woman Charged with Embezzlement

A 59-year-old Sallisaw woman, Donna Ann Cupp, was charged with embezzlement on Sept. 6 in Delaware County District Court, and was arrested Tuesday on a $10,000 arrest warrant in Sallisaw, then transported to Delaware County Thursday. This is not the first time Cupp has faced embezzlement charges. This time, according to media reports, Cupp is accused of being involved with three other women who were allegedly attempting to steal a luxury home on Grand Lake from an ex-boyfriend of one of the other women. OK News reported the three other defendants are Betty Pitts-Cartwright, 61, an Afton attorney,  Julie Ann Pitts, 37, of Langley, and Heather Hogshooter, 24, of Spavinaw. They are charged in Delaware County District Court with obtaining property by fraud. Pitts is Cartwright's daughter and Hogshooter is a former employee, as is Cupp, according to reports.

Cartwright, Langley and Hogshooter are accused of preparing a phony land deed and a bogus Oklahoma corporation to obtain ownership of a 5,500-square-foot residence. The house is currently listed for sale at $1.75 million. The home belongs to Tor Staubo, described as a professional boat racer from Norway. He and Cartwright were reported to be in a romantic relationship from Summer 2011 to August 2012. It is reported Staubo bought the Grand Lake residence in July 2012 for $1.2 million. Cupp, reported to be a friend of Cartwright's for 30 years, told authorities that Cartwright said, "He bought it for me and it's gonna be mine." According to the affidavit, that lead to an alleged fraudulent deed, signed, but which handwriting experts reported was not signed with Staubo's signature. 

Cartwright also reportedly wrote a letter to Sequoyah County District Attorney Brian Kuester explaining how Cupp, a former employee, stole from a guardianship, and used the money to pay her loans and bills, and for others. According to the reports, Cupp admitted taking the money but said it was at Cartwright's direction.

In 2002 Cupp, Central School Superintendent at the time, was accused of embezzling from the school. She was charged in Sequoyah County District Court with eight counts of embezzlement. On April 8, 2004, Cupp pleaded no contest to the charges, and the court entered a guilty plea against her. She was sentenced to five years, all suspended, and was required to pay the money back to several businesses and $157,378.82 to Central Schools. She was also required to give up her teaching and administration certificates. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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