The sentencing of an Oregon woman who was formerly the Skagway Traditional COuncil’s Tribal Administer was sentenced in federal court for embezzling approximately $300,000 from the federally recognized tribal organization, it was announced by U.S. Attorney Bryan Shroder on Monday.
64-year-old Delia Commander, of Oregon, who formerly worked for the organization, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling during her time at the council. Prosecutors say that from at least 2010 until 2014, Commander used “the tribal credit card to make unauthorized cash advances at casinos and other locations, and by making unauthorized personal purchases with tribal funds.”
Prosecutors further pointed out that during that time she used the stolen funds “for personal travel including a trip to Hawaii for herself and a family member, online university courses, personal credit card bills, personal vehicle maintenance, and
personal shopping, among other things.”[xyz-ihs snippet=”adsense-body-ad”]The stolen funds were part of the annual $150,000 that the tribe received from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for operating funds.
As time progressed, the prosecution said that the Tribal Council became suspicious of Commander’s frequent travel and lack of financial documents. Commander quickly left the organization without notification, and a check of financials uncovered the embezzlement.
Because the funds that were embezzled were U.S. Government monies, the Department of Interior, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation that led to Commander’s conviction.
Commander was sentenced to a year and a half in prison and was ordered to pay restitution of $297.731 and will be under three years of supervised release.