Woman Charged With Embezzlement 'Not An Employee Of Gatesway' President Says
TULSA, Oklahoma - Prosecutors filed embezzlement charges against a woman they said stole close to $200,000 from clients of the Gatesway Foundation in Broken Arrow.
An accountant at Gatesway first noticed missing paperwork around February 2018 and once she dug deeper and almost couldn't believe what she found.
Five Gatesway clients found themselves victims of what prosecutors are calling an embezzlement scheme by a woman who was supposed to be overseeing their money.
"It is a shock you would take advantage of people that have disabilities,” said Gatesway accountant De Dee.
De Dee said she began to notice something wasn't right when she asked the guardian of one trust in particular to provide documentation of a recent withdrawal for that client.
“Next was the notice of cancellation of payment, so we knew she wasn’t paying it," she said.
Court documents allege Trust Guardian Leslie Mansfield stole close to $200,000 from five clients, possibly dating back to 2012.
Gatesway President Gloria Morten said Mansfield's direct connection to Gatesway was minimal.
"That woman was not an employee of Gatesway, not a contractor. She went and got guardianship and trustee over these on her own,” Morten said.
At this point, Morten isn't sure if Gatesway's clients will get any of the money back. But, she's relieved they found what they did.
“It's a really bad thing when that person is out there on their own without anybody watching them managing all this money, and there isn't anything Gatesway can do about that…short of auditing the accounts and when something goes wrong raise the red flag, and that's just what De Dee did," Morten said.
Gatesway said it has begun to shift the way they work these trust accounts, working more directly with companies that oversee them rather than individuals.