Former president of Arkansas non-profit pleads guilty to theft

OSCEOLA, AR  (KAIT) – The former president of Main Street Osceola plead guilty in Mississippi County Circuit Court Friday for theft of property, according to the Second Judicial District Prosecutor's Office.

Stephen L. Knox, 44, of Osceola made restitution in the amount of $2,000 and was given a 12 month probation. He plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of theft of property.

According to the original probable cause affidavit, Arkansas State Police questioned Knox after the Osceola Main Street Board became suspicious of financial records kept when Knox was president of the non-profit. Knox was not affiliated with the organization at the time of the investigation.

The affidavit stated two people with the Main Street Osceola Board of Directors met with police in January, 2014, and said there were discrepancies with the financial records that had been prepared by Knox. During the investigation, the witnesses gave police "a copy of an unauthorized $2,150.00 check written on March 8, 2013 from the Main Street Osceola Bingo Account to Stephen L. Knox."

The affidavit stated the check was also signed by Knox.

Knox eventually told investigators that he had gotten behind on his finances, and needed the money.

According to the organization's website, Main Street Osceola is a non-profit corporation dedicated to revitalize and preserve the city's downtown district. It also receives no state or federal dollars to operate.

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