Business (211)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Last week, a court in the Western District of Oklahoma unsealed an indictment charging three individuals with violating federal wire fraud and money laundering statutes in connection with an operation to sell over $88 million of stolen Avaya Direct International (ADI) software licenses, which were used to unlock features of a popular telephone system used by thousands of companies around the globe.

The grand jury charged the following defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 13 counts of wire fraud:  Raymond Bradley Pearce aka Brad Pearce, 46, of Tuttle, Oklahoma; Dusti O. Pearce, 44, of Tuttle, Oklahoma; and Jason M. Hines aka Joe Brown, aka Chad Johnson, aka Justin Albaum, 42, of Caldwell, New Jersey. In addition, the grand jury charged both Brad Pearce and Dusti Pearce with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.

According to the indictment, Avaya Holdings Corporation, a multinational business communications company headquartered in California, sold a product called IP Office, a telephone system used by many midsize and small businesses in the United States and abroad. To enable additional functionality of IP Office such as voicemail or more telephones, customers had to purchase software licenses – which Avaya generated – from an authorized Avaya distributor or reseller. Avaya used software license keys to control access to Avaya’s copyright-protected software and to ensure that only customers who paid for the software could use it. In addition, Avaya required that each software license on an IP Office system be associated with the system’s Avaya Secure Digital (SD) card – a small flash memory card with a unique serial number that plugged into the IP Office manager computer – which the end user had to keep in its possession in order to use the licenses.

According to the indictment, Brad Pearce, a long-time customer service employee at Avaya, allegedly used his system administrator privileges to generate tens of millions of dollars of ADI software license keys that he sold to Hines and other customers, who in turn sold them to resellers and end users around the globe. The retail value of each Avaya software license ranged from under $100 to thousands of dollars.

As set forth in the indictment, Brad Pearce also allegedly employed his system administrator privileges to hijack the accounts of former Avaya employees to generate additional ADI software license keys. Furthermore, he allegedly used these privileges to alter information about the accounts to conceal the fact that he was generating ADI license keys, preventing Avaya from discovering the fraud scheme for many years. Brad Pearce’s wife, Dusti Pearce, is alleged to have handled accounting and helped run the financial side of the illegal business. Hines operated Direct Business Services International (DBSI), a de-authorized Avaya reseller, in New Jersey. He allegedly bought software licenses from the Pearces under his own name and also using an alias, Joe Brown. Hines was the Pearces’ largest customer and significantly influenced how the scheme operated. Hines also received help from Brad Pearce to resell the stolen software licenses.  Hines was allegedly one of the biggest users of the ADI license system in the world.

According to the indictment, the Pearces and Hines’ operation not only prevented Avaya from making any money on its stolen intellectual property but also undercut the global market in Avaya ADI software licenses because the Pearces and Hines were selling licenses for significantly below the wholesale price. In fact, Brad Pearce allegedly told Hines that the Pearces’ customers could not obtain same-day ADI software licenses from anyone else for anything even close to the Pearces’ prices, and Hines suggested that he and Brad Pearce work together to “corner” the market in licenses. Altogether, the Pearces and Hines allegedly reaped millions of dollars from the fraud. Moreover, to hide the nature and source of the money, the Pearces allegedly funneled their illegal gains through a PayPal account created under a false name to multiple bank accounts, and then transferred the money to numerous other investment and bank accounts. They also allegedly purchased large quantities of gold bullion and other valuable items. The indictment lists numerous assets subject to forfeiture including cash, gold, silver, collectible coins, cryptocurrency, and real property.

U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester of the Western District of Oklahoma, Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray of the FBI’s Oklahoma City Field Office, and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julia E. Barry and William Farrior of the Western District of Oklahoma and Senior Counsel Matthew A. Lamberti of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022 15:08

Growing Oklahoma Captive Industry

Oklahoma is a great place to do business. As one of the fastest-growing domiciles for captives in the country, the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) is attracting more and more companies to do business here. A captive insurance company provides great flexibility to business owners who want to take control of their insurance programs. Captives exist to underwrite the risk of their owner(s) and affiliates. Between 2017 and 2021, Oklahoma’s captive premium volume increased significantly, rising to $214.4 million in 2021, up from $147.3 million in 2017.

Oklahoma now has 40 licensed captives—more than one-third of these were issued during my first two years in office. In 2019 and 2020, captives domiciled in Oklahoma generated over $1 million in premium taxes to help fund public safety pensions and the state’s general revenue fund. With OID’s supportive, efficient regulatory platform, companies of various industries around the country recognize Oklahoma as a highly competitive jurisdiction.

To help Oklahoma continue to be the hub of innovation and technology, OID is hosting its first Oklahoma Captive & Insurance Business Transfer (IBT) Conference on August 24-25 at the Omni Oklahoma City Hotel. This two-day conference will address new and emerging risks facing companies and organizations worldwide. We’ll bring together subject matter experts to share insights on captive insurance and IBTs and educate stakeholders on the benefits of these cutting-edge mechanisms. This conference will demonstrate how captives can offer solutions that may not be available in the traditional insurance marketplace.

It’s the first in-person conference we are hosting since the COVID-19 pandemic. And I’m excited to showcase Oklahoma’s endless possibilities to risk managers, business owners, regulators, financial executives and insurance professionals. Registration is required to attend the event and limited seats are available. For more information about the event, visit and follow OID on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at



The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2022 – Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new pilot program created under President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the development of biobased products that have lower carbon footprints and increase the use of renewable agricultural materials, creating new revenue streams for farmers. This $10 million investment is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing work to rebuild our infrastructure and create good-paying jobs and economic opportunity in our rural communities. 

Secretary Vilsack visited Dan and Debbie Creamery, a family-owned operation in Ely, Iowa, and met to discuss what impact the Bioproduct Pilot Program and resulting innovations will have on operations like theirs, as well as the customers they serve. Dan and Debbie’s Creamery farm is about 500 acres with a 120-head dairy operation. 

“Dan and Debbie represent the many American farmers, families and communities USDA is called to serve,” Vilsack said. “This pilot program is a critical part of USDA’s commitment to enhancing the circular economy and providing additional revenue streams for farmers. This program will help farmers take field residues and waste products and turn them into value-added products that create wealth and drive economic development in rural areas.”

Under this program, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) can award up to $10 million divided among the highest rated applications that include eligible universities and private-sector partners. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided funds for sustainable bioproduct manufacturing for construction and consumer products. The statute directs USDA to partner with “not less than one institution” to study the benefits of using materials derived from a very broad definition of “covered agricultural commodities.” 

Complete information on this funding opportunity can be found on the NIFA website. An informational webinar for those interested in applying will be held on July 14 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Central Time. To register, please visit the Bioproduct Pilot Program Informational Webinar page.

This project will be implemented by a team of USDA experts from NIFA’s Institute of Bioenergy, Climate and Environment, USDA Rural Development’s BioPreferred Program and the U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Team and Forest Products Lab. 


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.



The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is please to welcome Judi Blooms as a member of the chamber. 

Shout out to Judi Blooms as a new Floral Shop and Boutique business at 100 Highway 59, Suite A in Heavener.


Phone Number is 918-839-3719


Congrats on a Great Grand Opening!

The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce their newest member to the Poteau Chamber of Commerce


Jamie Oliver for County Commissioner Dist.#3 joined the chamber and to celebrate his membership, he got the traditional Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!



Friday, 18 March 2022 17:25

Yochum joins Poteau Chamber

The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Dennis Yochum for LeFlore County Assessor has joined the Poteau Chamber of Commerce.

Dennis has worked 10 years for Wal-Mart Stores where he was the Department Manager for Tire and Lube Express. He was hired to work in the Assessor’s Office in 2002. “I worked in the office doing field card filing, personal property assessments and homestead exemptions. I went to the field and did field appraisal work,” said Yochum. “I had my full accreditation from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. If you value property for the Assessor, you have to have passed classes through the Center for Local Government from Oklahoma State University.”

He left the Assessor’s Office in 2008 and went to work for Kelli Ford as a land deputy.

Dennis was a firefighter for the City of Poteau from 2004 to 2012 and an active member of Southside Baptist Church in Poteau.

Thursday, 27 January 2022 16:31

Come join our team!!


To see full job descriptions or to apply for a position, visit our website at:

Full Time Positions-

  1. Phlebotomist
  2. Billing Specialist
  3. Referral Clerk
  4. RN- Emergency Department (Up to $15,000 sign on bonus available)
  5. RN
  6. LPN
  7. CNA
  8. Physician Coordinator
  9. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  10. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or

Physician’s Assistant

  1. Environmental Tech
  2. LPN (Family Medical Clinic)

PRN Positions-

  1. Phlebotomist
  2. Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
  3. Radiology/CT Tech
  4. Admitting Clerk
  5. Security Guard (CLEET Certified)
  6. LPN- Cavanal Walk In Clinic
  7. LPN- Family Medical Clinic    
Monday, 29 November 2021 13:52

Poteau Chamber receives Trash-Off Award

The Oklahoma Department of Tourism’s Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Campaign is pleased to announce that the Poteau Trash Off is the “Trash off Best Overall Effort” Finalist in the 31st Statewide Environmental Excellence Competition.

The award was presented to Karen Wages, CEO of the Poteau Chamber of Commerce and Cailey Yochum, assistant.

Each year, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) presents environmental awards in several categories.

The prestigious awards are presented at KOB's annual Environmental Excellence Celebration which was held on November 19, 2021.

Congratulations to the Poteau Chamber of Commerce and the Beautification Committee.

Friday, 19 November 2021 15:23

Message from The Chamber CEO

Can you imagine your neighborhood or city without small business?

I can't and hope that I never live in a place without them.

Coffee shops, hair and nail salons, corner stores, spas, boutiques, clothing stores, consignment shops, restaurants, craft stores, bars, repair shops, laundromats, gas stations, convenient stores, and much more make up our city retail footprint. If these were not making up our business sector and were to close, imagine what Poteau would look like. Abandoned, boring, empty, desolate and not attractive or inviting for anyone.

Just how much of an impact do small businesses have on the community?

(SBA) Small Business Administration reports 28 million operate in the U.S. alone. They generate 66% of all new jobs.

"Small Business is not a small thing for a cities success."

In Poteau over 75% of business is small and locally owned and operated.

They employ you family, friends, senior citizens, college students

and school kids. Small businesses make a major impact buy providing better customer service and provides a greater variety of access to products.

Small Businesses give back more to your community.

When you shop local you are supporting your city or town and neighborhood.

Money spent is turned around many times by sales tax to the city and county.

They support your football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer teams, bands, dance teams, and local community service groups and organizations like your local chamber of commerce.

"When You Shop Local, You Are Truly Putting Your Heart At Home"

My wish for this Christmas Holiday Season is....

Strong Faith, Love Of Family And Friends, Good Health And A Hopeful, Bright New Year! #weareallinthistogether

Thank you all we are not Poteau without U!

Karen Wages, CEO

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