Former CASA Workers Indicted for Conspiracy, Embezzlement
The former executive director of an Oklahoma association formed to help abused and neglected children is accused of stealing almost $500,000 from the organization, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said today.
Anna Naukam is accused of one count of conspiracy to commit a felony and 148 counts of embezzlement in a Multicounty Grand Jury indictment unsealed today in Oklahoma County District Court. The indictment also names her husband, Eugene M. Naukam, III, on one count of conspiracy to commit a felony and 41 counts of embezzlement.
Anna Naukam, 51, previously served as the executive director of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, an umbrella organization for local Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs across the state. She employed her husband, Eugene Naukam, 64, as a special projects coordinator.
“The grand jury alleges Anna Naukam obtained credit cards in the association’s name, but arranged for the statements to be sent to her home,” Edmondson said. “For six years, the couple allegedly spent CASA money not on children in need, but on themselves.
“The grand jury accuses the Naukams of spending taxpayer dollars and donated funds for things like granite counter tops, a hot tub, Texas Tech football tickets, college tuition at OU, cosmetic surgery and lingerie from Victoria’s Secret,” Edmondson said. “None of these things benefitted abused and neglected Oklahoma children. Instead, Anna and Eugene Naukam abused the trust of these children and neglected their duty to help kids in need for their own benefit.”
The grand jury also detailed thousands of dollars in suspected illicit spending on clothing, home remodel work, dental expenses, health club memberships, magazine subscriptions, veterinarian bills and vacation expenses.
“Not only did the Naukams waste CASA funds living the good life, they also spent CASA money to pay more than $8,000 in late fees, over limit fees and finance charges,” Edmondson said. “They weren’t even good financial stewards of the money they allegedly stole.
“The indictment unsealed today alleges the Naukams took more than $460,000 in CASA funds,” Edmondson said. “We believe Anna Naukam paid the credit card bills electronically to circumvent her board’s knowledge of these activities.”
CASA programs are made up of volunteers appointed by judges to advocate for a child involved in the family courts or social service system. Edmondson said the allegations against Anna and Eugene Naukam should not tarnish the selfless work done by CASA volunteers.
“I worked with CASA volunteers as district attorney in Muskogee and have been a strong supporter of these programs as attorney general,” Edmondson said. “We should not allow these allegations of criminal acts by the former executive director to detract from the strong community support these volunteers receive across the state.”
The Naukams were indicted by the grand jury Aug. 18. The attorney general said the investigation is ongoing.