OCAST president named in 22-count indictment

/ Source: The Associated Press

The president of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology was charged Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court with 22 felony counts of making false claims against the state.

William Sibley, 71, was indicted by a multicounty grand jury on May 25 for allegedly approving false time sheets submitted by former OCAST employee Geneva Faye Worthen. The indictments naming Sibley were unsealed Tuesday before Judge Vicki Robertson.

Worthen, 56, was indicted by the grand jury in April for submitting claims totaling more than $28,000 for 885.5 hours of work she allegedly did not perform.

According to the indictments unsealed Tuesday, Sibley was Worthen's direct supervisor and "knowingly, willfully and feloniously" approved her bogus time sheets. Each charge carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Sibley's attorney, David Ogle, said he does not believe his client willfully and intentionally broke the law and claimed Sibley took steps to correct problems at the agency regarding fraudulent time sheets.

"I do not believe there were any criminal acts, any intentional acts on behalf of Dr. Sibley, and we'll see as time will prove that out," Ogle said. "Once it was brought to his attention that she (Worthen) was not working the hours that she turned in, he fixed the problem to the point that there was a time clock installed at the agency."

Sibley entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday, and a preliminary hearing conference was set for 1:30 p.m. on July 22 before Judge Fred Doak.

Also on Tuesday, the owner of a Missouri-based interstate trucking business was named in four indictments unsealed in Canadian County District Court.

Daniel Allen Mackey, 54, of Cassville, Mo., was indicted May 25 by the multicounty grand jury on four counts of possessing counterfeit cab cards. Mackey, the owner and operator of Southwestern AG Marketing, LLC, is accused of four counts of possession of a counterfeited instrument.

"Every truck operating within the state of Oklahoma is required by law to obtain and carry a valid certificate of annual registration through the Oklahoma Tax Commission," said Attorney General Drew Edmondson, whose office administers the grand jury. "The indictment alleges Mackey used bogus certificates, also known as cab cards, in four of his trucks."

The cost of cab cards, which serve as proof of registration for trucks doing business in Oklahoma, are based on mileage traveled during the previous year and can range in price from approximately $1,000 to $3,500, said Paula Ross, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Each charge carries a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

The grand jury has been investigating a variety of alleged wrongdoing over the past several months. A former Tulsa fire captain was indicted last month and charged with workers compensation fraud and perjury.

The grand jury also has been continuing its investigation of Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher, who is already facing four felony counts related to operating a charity illegally and embezzling money from a continuing education fund.

The multicounty grand jury is scheduled to reconvene July 26.