A former Vinita police officer and city administrator was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to embezzling from a bank where he most recently worked as a loan officer.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell sentenced Charles Lee Enyart, 47, to four months in prison, which was a break from recommended federal sentencing guidelines.
Frizzell also ordered Enyart to serve five years of post-custody supervision by the U.S. Probation Office and to pay the bank $9,132 in interest on two fraudulent loans.
Enyart repaid the loan principal, $171,089, in December, testimony and records reflect.
He admitted in his plea agreement to using the proceeds from the two loans for his personal benefit rather than for their stated purpose.
Enyart said in a court filing that he began embezzling the funds when he became financially “desperate” after a Nov. 3, 2016, fire on his farm.
“I panicked,” Enyart told the judge during his sentencing hearing.
He apologized to bank officials and his family for the “embarrassment and shame” his actions caused them.
Paul Brunton, Enyart’s attorney, argued in a court filing that “any sentence of imprisonment is certainly greater than necessary to achieve the purpose of sentencing.”
However, Andrew Hofland, an attorney representing Oklahoma State Bank, contested Enyart’s claims that he first embezzled the money in an act of desperation following the fire. Rather, Hofland noted that Enyart initiated one of the loans six months prior to the blaze.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores charged Enyart on Oct. 17, 2018 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma with two counts of embezzlement or misapplication by a bank officer.
Enyart admitted in a plea agreement with prosecutors on Dec. 11 to embezzling $171,089 from the bank by using the proceeds of two loans, which he established for others who were unaware of the scheme.
The loans were established in 2016 and 2017. One loan, for $99,000, supposedly was for a man whom Enyart described as a “very good friend” to help establish a cattle business.
The second note was purported to be a construction loan for a woman.
Enyart requested through an attorney that he be sentenced to no time in custody.
Prosecutors did not file written opposition to the sentence variance request. However, under questioning from Frizzell, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Wilson said the government backed a prison term in the range prescribed under federal sentencing guidelines of 15 months to 21 months.
After sentencing Enyart, Frizzell warned the defendant that he could no longer possess any firearms since he was a federally convicted felon.
“Rid your home of any and all firearms,” Frizzell said.
Enyart worked for five years as a Vinita Police Department K9 officer beginning in 1996 before becoming city administrator for the Craig County city, court records show.
Frizzell gave Enyart, who has been free on bond during the proceedings, until July 17 to surrender to prison officials.
“Charles Enyart violated the confidence placed in him by the Vinita community. He exploited his position of trust along with his personal and business relationships at Oklahoma State Bank to fraudulently take more than $175,000,” Shores said.
“Our team of federal prosecutors were able to recover the funds originally lost plus interest. I’m proud of their work to bring to justice this white collar criminal.”
Actor Jason Lee talks about his new photo exhibit that is being shown at the same time as photos from Larry Clark's iconic photo book "Tulsa."