Swink, Okla

Swink, Oklahoma, is to the east of Hugo, Oklahoma.

SWINK, Okla. — The U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced the former treasurer of Swink Public School, Lori Rae Baskin, 50, was sentenced to four years’ probation for theft from an organization receiving federal program funds.

Investigators alleged the defendant stole or obtained by fraud property with a value of $5,000 or more from Swink Dependent School, District No. C-21, between Feb. 3, 2012, and June 30, 2015. The attorney’s office said the school received more than $10,000 in federal benefits each year from 2012 to 2015.

Baskin was ordered to pay restitution of $27,738.80. The charges were a result of an investigation by the Department of Education Office of Inspector General and the FBI.

In February 2018, Buck Leon Hammers of Swink was found guilty by a federal jury in Muskogee, Oklahoma, of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to embezzle federal program funds.

The verdict came two years after the FBI raided offices at the Grant-Goodland Public School and about a year since the Oklahoma State Board of Education mandated the school be consolidated with Hugo Public School. 

According to a June 23, 2017, report in The Oklahoman, Hammers was accused of stealing more than $50,000 from the district through a fraudulent check scheme. The report also notes Hammers and the school district’s deputy treasurer in February 2016 were suspended by the school, suspected of embezzlement. The following day, the deputy treasurer committed suicide.

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or macon.atkinson@theparisnews.com.

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