Former Touchdown Club president, DA discuss deal on embezzlement charge

And Chris Eversole

The former president of the Mustang Touchdown Club has repaid more than $10,000 that he is accused of taking from the club’s accounts for personal use.

Raymond Craig Davis Jr., 49, is charged in Canadian County District Court with a single count of embezzlement.

Court documents show that Davis agreed to repay $10,120.50 before Jan. 25.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Epplin said  Davis fulfilled that obligation.

Davis appeared in court Monday before Special Judge Charles Gass..

Davis’s attorney, Donald Smitherman, said Davis is negotiating a plea deal and sought a contintuance.

Davis, wearing medical scrubs, quietly told Gass that he also waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

If convicted, Davis could face up to five years in jail.

Epplin said he could not comment on the case, but he did acknowledge that Davis’ attorney wanted to reach a plea agreement.

Gass set April 23 as a date for a hearing before District Judge Paul Hesse, at which time a plea agreement could be formalized.

Before the hearing, Smitherman and Epplin held several discussions in an office off of Courtroom Two of the Canadian County Courthouse.

The attorney, Smitherman, conferred with Davis during his shuttle diplomacy.

After the brief interaction before the judge in the courtroom, Smitherman said Davis is tying up some personal business so he would be able to meet conditions that a plea agreement would require.

He said that Davis is taking full responsibility for the crime and was remorseful.

“He has a young family and kids in school,” Smitherman said.

Davis was arrested in early May after an audit of the Touchdown Club’s finances showed irregularities.

Davis, who served as the booster club’s president for approximately four years, resigned in January 2018 at the request of school officials.

He had been involved with the club since 2005, according to court documents.

“We are saddened to inform our patrons that an individual, whom we entrusted with leading the Touchdown Club, is believed to have mishandled funds,” then-Deputy Superintendent Charles Bradley said in a news release. Bradley is now Mustang schools’ top official.

According to court records, Davis opened an account at Cornerstone Bank in July 2014 with two co-signers. In April 2016, he opened an account at Yukon National Bank requiring only his signature.

An affidavit of probable cause said that Davis then converted income and expenses from Cornerstone Bank to YNB for official club business.

Davis allegedly was the only user of the account at Cornerstone Bank for 1 ½ years while using the account for various cash and check deposits from club activities. He is accused of making withdrawals for personal use.

The Cornerstone Bank account was closed Feb. 13, 2018, when Davis withdrew the final 62 cents and placed the change ‘in his pocket,’” the affidavit stated.

An audit performed for the school district showed that there were 21 withdrawals of cash totaling $9,635.86 from the club’s accounts. Of those, withdrawals, there was no documentations related to $6,380.

The audit report stated several other findings that were brought to the district’s attention.

According to the audit, the club’s debit card was used excessively without proper documentation. The audit also pointed out that over the 18 months that were audited, the club had inflows of $269,129 and outflows of $269,639, resulting in being overdrawn.

Mustang School have made changes in how booster clubs are operated.

“Mustang Public Schools has been working for two years on sanctioning all of the district’s booster clubs,” Bradley said.

Originally, the booster clubs operated as independent entities with no school oversight.

“The sanctioning process has moved them under the district umbrella, where the board of education can request records and help with the record-keeping process. Now that the booster clubs are sanctioned, the district has implemented a procedure of choosing three for an independent audit of their financial records each year,” Bradley’s statement said.

Bradley commented on the audit.

“During the process, independent auditors contracted by the district and Mustang Schools financial staff found thousands of dollars not accounted for in the Touchdown Club’s accounts. MPS contacted the Canadian County sheriff’s office to continue the investigation with a forensic auditor,” the statement said.

Bradley commented on the impact of the crime.

“It’s not the school district this individual is accused of stealing from – it’s the kids,” Bradley said.

“The athletes and the parents gave of their time and talents to raise money earmarked to go back into the program and back to the kids. It’s inconceivable to me that a parent could violate the trust of other parents and then take away resources the athletes themselves worked for.”

Davis remains free on bail.

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