Anna McKinney had worked at the Denison (TX) Area Chamber of Commerce since 1977, rising from a secretary to the chamber president. But McKinney recently retired amid a scandal involving slot machines.
The Herald Democrat reports that her retirement came shortly after an internal audit began. The Chamber’s board of directors brought in outside auditors after noticing irregularities with their books.
The outside auditors determined that McKinney was misappropriating funds. This started the process of finding out why she stole the money.
McKinney Had a Weakness for Slot Machines
Texas Ranger Brad Oliver was the lead investigator on this case. And Oliver found that McKinney stole $48,968 from the chamber and Denison Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The thefts occurred from January 2014 to March 2017. And McKinney used the money to play slot machines at an Oklahoma casino.
McKinney’s Punishment for the Slots Crime
On August 11, the former chamber president pleaded guilty to one theft count of over $30,000 and under $150,000. She was ordered to serve 5 years of deferred adjudication and fined $1,000.
The Texan is required to pay back $55,477 as one condition of the theft. This represents all of the losses and costs to the chamber, visitor’s bureau, and city of Denison.
McKinney is still facing judgement over the case. Her charge is a third-degree felony that’s punishable by between 2 and 10 years in prison. She’s also subject to a $10,000 fine on top of what she must pay back.
How the Money was Stolen
The Herald Democrat reports that McKinney stole the money by paying extra bonuses to herself. She even forged the signature of chamber board member Jennifer Reed to complete one transaction.
The transcript of McKinney’s hearing doesn’t explain why she stole the money. But it’s clear that she took it to play slot machines based on Oliver’s evidence.
Texas doesn’t have any casinos. This is why McKinney traveled to Oklahoma to play slots.