Prosecutors say Oregon woman embezzled almost $300,000 for travel, gambling

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A woman from Skagway faces charges for embezzling funds almost hitting $300,000 while working as the administrator for an Indian tribal organization.

According to charging documents presented by the Unites States Attorney, 63-year old Delia Commander will be tried for allegedly embezzling a grand total of $297,000 from 2010 to September of 2014 for things such as travel and to “support her gambling habit.”

Prosecutors say she was working as the Tribal Administrator for Skagway Traditional Council (STC) during this time. STC was a “federally recognized Indian tribal organization listed in the Federal Register” for the village of Skagway, the indictment reads.

STC received more than $150,000 of federal funding every year during the years where Commander oversaw the managing and expenditure of the funds that STC received.

These funds were meant to provide resources for education, housing, environmental, and self-governance programs. Instead, prosecutors say, Commander used her role as administrator of these funds to embezzle $297,000, and then use them for her own personal reasons.

Listed among the improper uses of these funds were “personal travel for herself and family, cash advances to support her gambling habit, and payment of tuition for herself for an online university.”

Prosecutors claim Commander used the company credit card to make payments on her tuition bills, used the organization’s checking account to pay off her credit cards, made cash withdrawals, “primarily from ATMS located near casinos,” and assorted uses of the credit card, including “personal travel for her family, maintenance on her private vehicle, and personal shopping, among other things.”