Three days after being sentenced to prison for embezzlement, the former CEO of the Tulsa Better Business Bureau posted a message on social media urging problem gamblers to get help.
A judge Rick Brinkley, who is also a former Oklahoma State Senator, to 37 months in prison on Friday, March 11, 2016. He must surrender to prison by April 14.
Brinkley pleaded guilty in August 2015 to federal wire fraud and tax evasion charges for stealing more than $1.8 million from the BBB.
In court on Friday, Brinkley apologized to the Better Business Bureau and his family, blaming his gambling addiction for the crime.
On Monday, Brinkley posted a message on his Facebook page, thanking people for support but also acknowledging that he'd heard from people dealing with their own gambling addiction.
Here is the message he posted:
"I've spent the better part of the past 72 hours responding to supportive Facebook posts and private messages. All of these expressions of support and kindness are appreciated more than the writers will ever understand.
However, the most important messages came from people who asked for help with their own gambling addiction. I've sent a lot of links to many people.
If you think you may have a gambling addiction, please know you are not alone. It's estimated over 150,000 Oklahomans suffer from this addiction. Gambling addiction has the highest rate of successful suicide among all addictions including drugs and alcohol.
For many, seeking recovery is literally a matter of life or death. If you think you might have a gambling problem, click on the link below and answer 20 easy questions.
If you are looking to attend a Gambler's Anonymous meeting, please call 855-222-5542 toll free to find the meetings in your area or click on this link:
If you have a family member or loved one who is a compulsive gambler and you don't know what to do, find your nearest gam-anon meeting here.
If there aren't any meetings in your area or if you are looking for a private counselor, please visit the website for the Oklahoma Association for Problem & Compulsive Gambling.
You don't have to continue living in misery."