Woman accused of embezzling tens of thousands from Camp Fire victim surrenders

Investigators say the 29-year-old Oklahoma woman embezzled $63,100 in insurance money from a 75-year-old victim of California's deadliest fire.

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By Alex Johnson

An Oklahoma woman faces charges of elder abuse, embezzlement and grand theft after she surrendered to Northern California authorities who say she embezzled tens of thousands of dollars of insurance from a 75-year-old victim of last year's deadly Camp Fire.

Brenda Rose Asbury is accused of embezzling $63,100 in insurance money from an elderly victim of last year's Camp Fire.Butte County, California, Sheriff's Office

The woman, Brenda Rose Asbury, 29, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon in Butte County Superior Court after she drove three days from Tulsa to Butte County, where she turned herself in, the sheriff's office said Tuesday.

Investigators said they'd been looking for Asbury for more than a month since a warrant was issued for her arrest in September. They said they tracked her down in Tulsa with the help of Oklahoma authorities.

Sheriff's detectives said that they began investigating Asbury on July 30 on suspicion that she had embezzled $63,100 from the elderly Camp Fire survivor. The money was part of an insurance settlement the victim had obtained after losing a home in the fire, the sheriff's office said.

Public records indicate that Asbury previously lived in Magalia, in Butte County, and that she was licensed as a private security officer in California from 2012 to 2014. No further information, including an attorney who could be asked to comment, was immediately available.

The Camp Fire, which started a year ago Friday in Butte County, killed 85 people, burned more than 153,000 acres, destroyed almost 19,000 structures and wiped most of the town of Paradise off the map, making it the most destructive fire in the state's history.