Oklahoma’s Tornado King Owner Faces Embezzlement Charges
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - The owner of Tornado King Shelters is in jail on several embezzlement charges. The state attorney general filed several felony counts against William Stephens.
Mark and Anita Jestes know what it's like when Oklahoma winds take a turn for the worst. Last year, their Claremore neighborhood was hit by the March 30th tornadoes.
Five days earlier, at the Tulsa Home and Garden Show, the family asked Tornado King about getting a storm shelter for their home.
The construction was supposed to start in July, but months went by.
"I didn't hear anything so I called him in June, then I started calling him like once every two weeks, and then I started calling every week-ish and then it just stopped," Mark Jestes said.
At first, Williams said the delay was due to scheduling conflicts, but after four months the family was fed up.
"I feel like he was kind of leading us on," Anita said.
When the family called the credit union about their nearly $6,000 loan, they were told it had already been paid in full to Tornado King.
Anita said, "They pretty much told us that we were out of luck and that the business has probably gone under and that there was nothing that they could do."
We spoke with Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter about the case and he said, “"We're going to do everything we can to get the people that he preyed on, to get their money back."
When we called Tornado King to ask about the charges, the number was out of service.
"At this point, I'm not really expecting anything. I'm really not," Anita said.
At this point, the family has filed a lawsuit against the Tulsa Home and Garden show, Tornado King and the credit union they got the loan through.