The former executive vice president of the Oklahoma Lumbermen's Association (OLA) has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of health care-related theft and/or embezzlement involving the LBM group's health plan trust, an Oklahoma newspaper reported.

"We have appeared in court and entered a plea of not guilty," Mack Martin, the attorney for Sharilyn Kay Young, told the Cherokee Nation newspaper. "She absolutely denies any wrong doing and we look forward to having this matter favorably resolved."

As ProSalesreported on Sept. 6, a federal grand jury for the U.S. Districts Court's Western District of Oklahoma returned a bill of indictment on Aug. 27 that was filed Sept. 2. It alleges that between October 2004 and December 2006, Young wrote nine checks to herself from the trust's bank account that were worth a total of $25,600, deposited the money for the first eight checks into two of her personal accounts at other banks, and arranged to get cash for the ninth check. The trust is a fund OLA created to help provide the employees of association members with lifre, accident, medical and dental insurance as well as prescription drug and hospitalization benefits, the indictment said. It also is used to pay premiums on the insurance contracts.

Young's duties as OLA executive vice president, which she joined around February 1996, included managing OLA's group health insurance plan. She left OLA sometime after the ninth check was written and no longer is associated with OLA. According to the Cherokee Nation, Young has been employed recently as a grant writer for the Cherokee Indian nation.

Each count carries a penalty of not more than 10 years' imprisonment, $250,000 fine, or both; plus three years' supervised release and restitution.