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Ex-whaling commission director wraps up testimony in theft sentencing

Casey Grove
Bill Roth

Former Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission director and admitted embezzler Maggie Ahmaogak finished testifying Thursday in federal court as her sentencing hearing continued for a fourth day.

Ahmaogak, 62, pleaded guilty in May to charges of theft, money laundering and misusing money from an organization receiving federal funds. Federal prosecutors say she stole more than $420,000 from the commission. Ahmaogak's attorney put the figure closer to $91,000.

Ahmaogak's attorney, Kevin Fitzgerald, says the roughly $330,000 difference is because some of the missing money identified by prosecutors' actually was spent for legitimate expenses.

The total amount of "loss" to the government will be decided by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason and will affect any prison time Ahmaogak may get.

Ahmaogak said after Thursday's hearing she was relieved to be off the witness stand after a full day of testifying Wednesday.

"It's been taking too long," Ahmaogak said. " Finally everybody knows the true reasons for all the transactions. Hopefully that will be taken into consideration."

"I want this to be done with," she said.

Scheduling conflicts have put off the conclusion to Ahmaogak's sentencing until Nov. 28.


Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.