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The Latest: State senator accused of defrauding nonprofit

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The latest on the criminal charges filed against Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Rick Brinkley of Owasso (all times local):
 
10:40 a.m.
 
Republican State Sen. Rick Brinkley says he will resign his post immediately.
 
Brinkley submitted the letter of resignation Thursday to Secretary of State Chris Benge's office. The one-paragraph letter states that for personal reasons, Brinkley ``irrevocably'' resigns his District 34 seat in the Senate, ``effective immediately.''
 
Brinkley previously said he'd step down as state senator at the end of the year.
 
Prosecutors charged Brinkley on Wednesday with five counts of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. He's accused in a scheme that involved taking $1.8 million from the Better Business Bureau of Tulsa.
 
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10:20 a.m.
 
A federal prosecutor says Oklahoma state senator Rick Brinkley allegedly used $1.8 million from a nonprofit agency to pay off hefty credit card bills and to gamble at casinos in Oklahoma and other states.
 
U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams detailed the allegations against Brinkley at a news conference Thursday morning. Williams says Brinkley allegedly paid more than $300,000 on an American Express card  and $100,000 on a Visa bill. He says Brinkley also allegedly used the money from the Better Business Bureau to pay his personal mortgage and for swimming pool repairs.
 
Brinkley was charged Wednesday with five counts of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. Court records say that the charges were part of plea negotiations between prosecutors and Brinkley's attorney.
 
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9:25 a.m.
 
Federal prosecutors have charged a two-term Oklahoma state senator with wire fraud and filing a false tax return in connection with a scheme to embezzle more than $1.8 million from a nonprofit agency.
 
Prosecutors filed charges late Wednesday against Sen. Rick Brinkley, who had previously agreed to step down from his state Senate seat on Dec. 31. According to court documents, the Republican from Owasso is charged with five counts of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.
 
The court records say the charges are a result of plea negotiations between Brinkley and federal prosecutors. A change of plea hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at federal court in Tulsa.
 
Brinkley worked at the Better Business Bureau for 15 years.
 

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