Ex-official at American Legion charged with embezzlement
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former official at a veterans nonprofit in Oklahoma faces embezzlement charges almost five years after coming under investigation.
David Kellerman, 47, is accused of engaging in schemes to embezzle about $60,000 from the American Legion for his personal benefit, The Oklahoman reported.
Kellerman was the state Legion adjutant from September 2003 to December 2011 and handled operations at its headquarters in Oklahoma City. He remained active in the Legion from 2012-13 as a voluntary assistant.
National Legion officials took over Oklahoma operations for nine months in 2014 after discovering money was missing. Officials estimate up to $1 million had been missing at the time.
Kellerman was charged with embezzlement in 2014, but the case was dropped due to evidence issues.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter called Kellerman’s alleged actions “particularly reprehensible.”
“There was clear evidence of wrongdoing in this matter,” Hunter said. “He’s taking advantage of veterans.”
Kellerman denied wrongdoing and alleged he’s being harassed. His attorney, Richard Anderson, also questioned whether Kellerman is being prosecuted for political reasons.
Anderson claimed the investigation began after Kellerman complained about veteran deaths at state rest homes.
“I don’t know what the motivation is,” Anderson said. “I’ve got a lot of different theories. I just don’t have any truth yet.”
Kellerman faces four counts of embezzlement and one count of engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses.
Kellerman is also facing a felony lewd acts charge in a separate case for allegedly touching a 7-year-old girl inappropriately. The case is pending in Canadian County District Court.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com