By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Langston woman, who has been accused of embezzling $3,000 from the Oklahoma State University Food and Agriculture Products Center in Stillwater while she was employed there as a financial assistant, has not yet appeared in court on the felony charge.
La Tanja C. Johnson, 55, told OSU Police Investigator Kyle McCool in October, “she was currently living in Colorado and would not be returning to Oklahoma for several months,” according to his affidavit for an arrest warrant that was issued on Dec. 16, 2021, court records show.
If convicted of embezzling $3,000 in cash between May and December of 2021, Johnson could be given as much as an eight-year prison term and a $10,000 fine.
“Internal Audit interviewed La Tanja Johnson and asked her to write down what she knew about missing cash,” according to the investigator’s affidavit.
“In her written statement, she stated, ‘I don’t know how this happened, but as far as I can see, sometimes things get a little complicated in life.
‘You do everything to the best of your ability working harder than most and not being compensated like everyone else. Taking on people’s jobs and not even making enough. Had hardships not proud, but yes,"” the affidavit alleged.
“Also in La Tanja Johnson’s written statement, she estimated she took up to $5,000, but no more. La Tanja also wrote down 2019 when asked for the time period when it occurred,” the affidavit alleged.
“Internal Audit found evidence that a total of $3,092.57 was in the financial assistant, La Tanja Johnson’s, custody that was never deposited.
“On 10/5/2021, I contacted La Tanja Johnson to speak with her regarding this case. I informed her I wanted to speak with her regarding a matter from when she was previously employed at FAPC, and I would like for her to come to the police department to speak with me.
“I informed La Tanja to contact me when she came back to Oklahoma.
“I contacted the city of Langston utility department to see if La Tanja had active utilities in Langston,” and was informed that she does, the OSU police detective alleged in his affidavit.