Close on the heels of the Tatitlek case, involving Lori Clum and her misappropriations of corporate funds, comes another case out of Fort Yukon involving embezzlement of approximately $118,000 by the manager of the native village corporation there.
The case involves the loss of approximately $118,000 from the Corporation in 2009. During that time it is alleged that former Gwitchyaa Zee Corporation manager, 61-year-old Zelma Louie Fairchild, took the corporation’s profitable fuel store there, and turned it into a losing proposition. She did so by altering records for the store as well as absconding with money from a the Corporation’s safe.
The misappropriation of funds wasn’t realized until Fairchild’s successor, Fanny Carroll, began working at the Corporation fuel store. It was at that time, that Carroll realized that there was far less money on the Corporation books as there should have been. Following that discovery, Carroll employed the services of an accounting firm to audit and review the fuel stores finances, which were kept separate from other Corporation records.
As a result of that investigation, the accounting firm found that at least $118,085 and vanished from the fuel store between the dates of July 2009 and December of that same year. The alleged missing funds were tracked down to altered financial records as well as currency being removed from the Corporation safe.
Through interviews with employees at the Corporation fuel store, it was found that employees were not allowed to assist in reconciliation of daily cash amounts and other accounting tasks. It was also found that Fairchild insisted that fuel sales customers, when paying by money order, leave the payee section of that money order blank. Also, during 2009, Fairchild requested Corporation funds to cover fuel purchases for the fuel store.
During the Alaska State Trooper investigation that ensued, it was alleged that Fairchild used some of the monies that she embezzled from the fuel store to take herself and her family on vacations to Hawaii and Florida. Also during that time, Fairchild bought a new vehicle, worth $32,820. It was also found that Fairchild also paid herself “retro-pay” after she left the Corporation’s employment totaling $29,800.
Following Fairchild’s departure from the Corporation, the fuel store has once again started posting a profit, and has even declared a dividend.
After the resulting Alaska State Trooper investigation, Fairchild has been issued a criminal summons to appear in court in Anchorage on February 6, 2014 to face four felony counts.
Currently, Gwitchyaa Zee, the native Corporation in Fort Yukon, does not have a comment in the case.