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Former Grandfield Co-op Manager accused of embezzlement

Grandfield_The former manager of the Grandfield co-op in southwest Oklahoma is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of equipment from the co-op.  Fifty-four-year-old Ricky Don Adams is facing one count of embezzlement. 

The Tillman County Sheriff's Department says Adams stole from the co-op, and sold the items to farmers for a discounted rate.  They say that in order to pull off the ruse, Adams told farmers that as a manager he could get discounted items from vendors.  "As far as I know he was a good guy, and a good manager over there," said Franky Morrison with Tillman Producers Co-op.  "From what dealings I had with him, he was a good guy."  Morrison says he has known Adams for five years, and was shocked to hear the news.  He says just like other folks in the area, he couldn't believe what was happening right under their noses. 

Sheriff Bobby Whittington says Adams was using the co-op to enrich himself.  "He was taking their inventory - t-post, barbed wire, plow points, bolts - and, he was taking some of it to area farmers and putting that money to his own use."  Whittington says Adams had worked at the co-op for a number of years, and over a two-year period, he says Adams stole at least $3,000 worth of equipment.

Whittington says Adams ran the grain elevator for three or four years before he quit in June.  It was after that that employees began to think something was fishy.  "An employee that works there brought their concerns to the general manager of the co-op," said Whittington.  "At that point, he got the ball rolling of getting an audit and having law enforcement involved."

The sheriff says that he began pounding-the-pavement to track down some of Adams' customers.  "It took us a little bit of time because we tracked down various customers of the co-op and got their permission to get into their financial records," he said. 

However, Morrison says he always will remember Adams as customer-driven, and very friendly.  "I've never heard any bad things about him from any of the customers, or the employees, or anything," he said.  Whittington says embezzlement is a felony that could carry some stiff jail time.

Count on 7News to keep you updated.
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