TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The former Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce executive director who misappropriated nearly half a million dollars during his years-long tenure has yet to face formal sentencing, despite completion of a court-ordered report more than a month ago.
David Moore pleaded guilty to federal charges earlier this year after an investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation determined he took more than $439,000 from the Chamber's coffers. After his plea, Moore was allowed to remain free pending completion of a court-ordered, pre-sentence investigation report.
On Aug. 31, a draft of that report was filed in federal court, though its contents were deemed "confidential information" and sealed from the public's view. Moore's attorney and federal prosecutors were given until Sept. 14 to file any objections they might have to the report, but federal court records show no action has since occurred.
Federal authorities confirmed Monday that Moore's formal sentencing has yet to be set for court. His federal charges included money laundering, wire fraud and failure to remit employment taxes worth more than $40,000.
Moore, 49, was initially charged in Cherokee County District Court with one felony, but prosecutors eventually amended the case to include 13 charges such as embezzlement and computer fraud. Moore turned himself into the Cherokee County Detention Center and was released on a $30,000 cash bond. He has remained free since doing so in December 2014.
Moore is expected to receive a federal prison sentence between 31 and 44 months and to pay restitution of more than half a million dollars.
Cherokee County prosecutors expect Moore to agree to a plea deal on his state charges in exchange for probation and restitution of the money that was taken from the Chamber. His next court appearance in Cherokee County is tentatively slated for Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. in front of Special District Judge Larry Langley.
Moore purportedly used a Chamber debit card to pay his personal bills and to withdraw money that he later funneled into local casinos and entertainment venues. Investigators also determined Moore failed to pay various taxes on behalf of the Chamber during his tenure.
Authorities said Moore obtained unauthorized loans from banks and individuals in the Tahlequah area.
Financial records related to the Chamber were purportedly falsified and provided to members of the Board of Directors during Moore's employment. Without seeing the legitimate bank statements, board members were apparently unaware the account had been overdrawn a number of times while Moore was executive director. Some claimed, as the investigation unfolded, that they didn't know the Chamber had a bank card.
Josh Newton writes for the Tahlequah Daily Press.