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Oklahoma Couple Charged with Embezzling Money from Faith-Based Nonprofit for Opioid Addicts

By Sheila Stogsdill
jordan vanessa parker
Jordan and Vanessa Parker, of Pryor, Oklahoma, are charged with six counts of embezzlement. (Photo: Facebook)

An Oklahoma-based nonprofit founder and his wife are accused of picking the pockets of a charity designed to help opioid addicts.

Jordan Parker, 39, and his wife Vanessa Parker, 29, of Pryor, Oklahoma, are charged in Tulsa County District Court with six counts of embezzlement. 

They are accused of misusing funds of the Reckless Saints of Nowhere, a faith-based charity located in Pryor, to make large purchases from Amazon, Apple, Bluegreen Vacations, and Walmart.

The couple is also accused of purchasing two vehicles and paying personal financial loans with the charity’s money.

The Parkers are free on $100,000 bail and are due back in court on June 12, online records show.

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parker
Jordan and Vanessa Parker, of Pryor, Oklahoma, are charged with six counts of embezzlement. (Photo: Mayes County Sheriff’s Office)

Approximately eight months after the charity received $600,000 in donations, the organization had little to no tangible assets to show for it, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Some of the items allegedly purchased by the Parkers include:

  • Unused Woodstock three-day ticket
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish used bench slab
  • Ric Flair signed wrestling boot
  • Abraham Lincoln handwritten note
  • Various autographed jerseys
  • Evel Knievel and Star Wars toys
  • Women and children’s clothing
  • Diapers and formula
  • Prada men’s sunglasses
  • $25,000 in video games
  • $19,487.78 Bluegreen Vacations Timeshare
  • $5,950 for House Rent
  • $5,000 2004 Harley Davidson Motorcycle

Efforts to reach the Parkers or the charity for comment were unsuccessful.

The Parkers operated the charity from 2017 through 2023. Its purpose was “consulting, drug counseling, and rehabilitation placement to assist individuals addicted to and recovering from substance abuse,” according to the charity’s website.  

The organization’s website refers to Pryor, Oklahoma as “the heart of the opioid epidemic,” and proceeds from the agency’s apparel sales help pay for addicts’ treatment.

An investigation by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office showed t-shirts and apparel were nonprofit sales.

The Parkers primarily operated the charity “with minimal oversight from its board of directors,” authorities say.  The couple had access to and utilized the organization’s financial checks and/or debit cards to make purchases unrelated to the charity’s activities, according to the seven-page criminal complaint.

Current and former board members told investigators the transactions were not authorized and, in some transactions, the current and former board members were unaware of the purchases and would likely not have approved the spending due to their nature.

Jordan states on the charity’s website after he got sober from a 15-year opioid addiction, he and his wife, Vanessa founded The Reckless Saints of Nowhere, Inc. in 2016. 

parker reckless saints
Jordan and Vanessa Parker appear in a livestreamed update for The Reckless Saints of Nowehere. (Video screengrab)

The charity has placed more than 6,000 addicts from 22 states in treatment at no cost to them or their families, according to their website.

The former addict was also featured in an article on “Voices for Non Opioid Choices,” saying that “individuals placed in treatment centers by Reckless Saints of Nowhere have a success rate of over 85%, in part because the centers utilize a model developed by Jordan.” 

The model developed by Jordan works to “transform the addict’s life from the inside out,” according to the charity’s website.  The charity also provides transportation to treatment and eliminates all barriers to getting an addict help.

In 2021 Barna Foods, Inc. donated funds to help start Reckless Saints of Nowhere Flight School in Salina, Oklahoma. The program would be a work release program to assist participants with substance abuse addiction. 

Court records show the first donation, $100,000 was gifted to the charity on April 13, 2021. On May 14, 2021, the account had dwindled to $43.43. On June 8, 2021, Barna gifted an additional $500,000 for “funding of the Cornerstone and Freedom Staffing Program.” 

The Parkers financial practices were questioned by authorities during the investigation, including the purchase of a 2019 Honda Pilot for $48,998. 

The couple allegedly used $35,000 from the charity’s operating account to buy the automobile and financed the balance using their personal banking account but also allegedly dipped into the charity’s operating account to help make the monthly payments, the complaint states.  

Another financial practice that caught the eyes of investigators was a $77,000 withdrawal of funds from the charity’s operating account and deposited into the couple’s joint checking account.

reckless saints embezzling
Social post for The Reckless Saints of Nowhere. (Screengrab)

This transaction was followed by Jordon Parker withdrawing $67,000 from the couple’s joint account and sending $30,000 to Dr. David Lamb, with Revival Tabernacle, Inc., a church in Kentucky. Charity employees told investigators they were unsure what, if any, services were provided by Lamb.

Finally, Jordan Parker transferred $37,000 back into the charity’s operating account. This left $10,000 of charitable funds belonging to the charity unaccounted for, within Parkers’ joint account, the complaint states. 

In another alleged wrongdoing, from Nov. 2021 to Nov. 2022, two Flight School participants worked full-time jobs and their wages were paid directly to the charity. Part of the wages was retained by the charity to fund Flight School operations, and the remainder was deposited in Arvest Bank in Grove, Oklahoma in a For Benefit of Client account.

The wages were held in the account until the participants completed the Flight School program, at which point the remaining balance from the year’s earned wages was to be provided to the participant. The funds were entrusted to Jordan Parker to administer and manage as a Financial Account Administrator. He told the participants there were not enough funds within the account for them to receive their accumulated wages. 

Dwindling accounts

From March 2022 until March 2023, there were approximately $44,435.01 in unaccounted cash withdrawals from the charity’s account. This included checks written to the Parkers by themselves and specifically written for cash. The investigation showed the Parkers had approximately $6,980 in ATM withdrawals and $2,533.00 in overdraft fees. 

On November 3, 2021, the account balance for the charity was $-78.34 and on November 30, 2021, the charity received a $30,000 loan from Barna. Again, by December 21, 2021, the account had been depleted to $477.20. On January 7th, 2022, the charity received a second loan payment, from Barna for $15,000. Those funds were depleted by February 2, 2022, with a balance of $-54.44, the complaint states.

jordan parker embezzling
Jordan Parker appears on a local newscast to promote the charity group. (Video screengrab)

Jordan Parker represented to Barna that approximately $160,000 of the donated funds were utilized to purchase a property in Salina which did not occur. Instead, the Salina property was contracted as a lease-to-own, with the charity making monthly payments to the mortgage holder.

He further informed Barna that funds were also to be utilized for vehicles, office space, housing, and to balance staffing needs of the charity, the complaint states.

Sheila Stogsdill is a freelance print journalist and digital reporter, primarily covering crime issues for KSN/KODE.

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Hola. Vemos que este es el tercer artículo de este mes que ha encontrado que vale la pena leer. ¡Estupendo! ¿Consideraría hacer una donación deducible de impuestos para ayudar a nuestros periodistas a continuar informando la verdad y restaurar la iglesia?

Su donación deducible de impuestos ayuda a nuestros periodistas a informar la verdad y responsabilizar a los líderes y organizaciones cristianos. Haga una donación de $30 o más a The Roys Report este mes y recibirá una copia de “¿Y si Jesús hablara en serio acerca de la Iglesia?” por Skye Jethani.