BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX)- The owner of an online men's clothing store and his mother have both been indicted by a grand jury for an alleged financial fraud scheme to help fund his business.
News 3's Rusty Surette has confirmed Chance Michael Okonski, 31, and Sheila Marie Okonski, 55, of Bryan, were named in indictments handed up Thursday by a Brazos County Grand Jury.
Court documents obtained by KBTX show Chance, the owner of KIE Men's Shoppe, is indicted on a charge of Theft of Property and Sheila is indicted on a charge of Misapplication of Fiduciary Property or Property of Financial Institution.
Investigators say their scheme was carried out at Sheila's former place of employment in Bryan, and the owner of the company notified police after finding in-house credit card statements had been altered for several years.
An internal audit revealed the company lost more than $255,000 due to unauthorized transactions from 2011 to 2016. Sheila was in charge of the company's credit card statements and payments at the time, according to police reports. Two other employees were also accused of participating in the scam. All three have been fired.
Internal emails obtained by investigators revealed plans by Sheila and Chance to use employer-issued credit cards to help pay for outstanding invoices and past-due payments for KIE Men's Shoppe.
For example, the police report said in July 2015, Chance asked his mother if she could use one of her company's credit cards to pay a $539 past-due invoice for his store. The payment was made and the credit card statement was altered to show the transaction took place at "Exxon."
Records show Chance also used the stolen money to help pay for more than $800 in court fees at the College Station Municipal Court in January 2015 on an unrelated case.
In all, Bryan police say Chance obtained nearly $20,000 from his mother's business for his own personal gains from 2011-2015.
The mother-son duo was arrested last year and booked into the Brazos County Detention Center.
The KIE storefront on Harvey Road has since closed, but Chance continues to operate the business online. Multiple sources tell KBTX he now resides in Colorado.
In May, we confronted Chance about allegations that he mismanaged financial donations for a popular fashion event fundraiser.
Okonski was also arrested in 2007 and 2008 on unrelated theft charges, according to online jail records.