March 4, 2024

Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Money from Alaska Native Village

Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Money from Alaska Native Village

ANCHORAGE – A Minto woman entered a guilty plea for embezzling, stealing, and obtaining by fraud money that was owned and under the care, custody, and control of an Indian tribal government.

According to court documents, Melanie Gail Titus, 52, of Minto, was employed as the bookkeeper for the Minto Village Council, which is the federally recognized native governing body for the Native Village of Minto. The Minto Village Council receives federal funding from various federal agencies. The defendant embezzled a total of $55,753.99 between January 2015 and June 2019 from the Minto Village Council.  As its bookkeeper, she developed several schemes during her employ including issuing herself multiple payroll checks for the same pay periods, tendering duplicative deposits, and issuing duplicative reimbursements for work expenses. 

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on June 1, 2023, for the federal charge of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Lane S. Tucker of the District of Alaska made the announcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Alaska State Troopers, investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Tran is prosecuting the case.

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