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Crime & Courts

Oregon woman accused of stealing $300K from Skagway tribal organization

An Oregon woman faces federal charges for allegedly embezzling about $300,000 from Skagway Traditional Council, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alaska.

Delia Commander, 63, has been charged with four counts of embezzlement for allegedly stealing the money from the federally recognized tribal organization over four years, prosecutors said.

The thefts happened from at least 2010 to 2014, when Commander was the council's tribal administrator, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward. Commander started the job in 2008, according to the charging document.

The charges say Skagway Traditional Council received more than $150,000 in federal funds each year the alleged thefts were taking place. A council official was not available for comment Thursday.

"Commander embezzled the money by using the tribal credit card to make unauthorized cash advances at casinos and other locations, and by making unauthorized purchases with tribal funds," said Steward.

Her purchases included paying for travel, online college courses and vehicle maintenance, among other things, prosecutors said.

Commander faces up to a decade in prison on the charges if convicted. She is set to make an initial court appearance in Anchorage on June 1.

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