Indictments unsealed in Tax Commission investigation

Thursday, August 1st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ An indictment unsealed Thursday accuses three Oklahoma Tax Commission employees and two businessman of conspiring against the state in a bribery and kickback scheme.

The five, including former Tax Commission auditor Billy Bruce Baber, were indicted last week after an investigation into the agency's truck registration division. Authorities said private trucking agents paid bribes to Tax Commission employees to get cheaper tags.

The indictment says the state employees conspired to create reduced and fraudulent bills, then pocketed some of the money paid by trucking companies.

The crimes occurred from Dec. 1, 2000, to Sept. 30, 2001, the document says.

Oklahoma County District Judge Vicki Robertson set bond at $2,000 for each of the defendants, who also include Sharon K. Caywood, supervisor of the commission's prorate division; field auditor Brian Carl Brantley; Daniel E. Kiplinger, owner of Expert Prorating; and Kiplinger's former employee Ronnie E. Cantwell.

Baber is now a field auditor.

Agency officials first turned up alleged wrongdoing in an internal probe and sought assistance from the attorney general.