former dot lake village council president sentenced for theft
Anchorage, AK – Acting United States Attorney Kevin Feldis, announced today that Ted Charles, 62, a resident of Fairbanks, Alaska, has been sentenced in federal court in Fairbanks to three years of probation on his conviction of stealing and misapplying federal funds. Charles was also ordered to immediately pay restitution in the amount of $28,877 to the Dot Lake Village Council and a fine of $1000 to the United States.
Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline imposed the sentence on Charles.
According to information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Retta Randall, Charles was elected president of the Dot Lake Village Council (“DLVC”) in September 2006, and his responsibilities included administering the tribal programs of DLVC and managing the federal grants it received. DLVC is a federally recognized tribal organization serving the tribal members of the Native Village of Dot Lake, Alaska. DLVC receives federal funding from several sources, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Interior Regional Housing Authority/Housing and Urban Development. From January 2007 through November 2007, Charles stole funds belonging to DLVC through undocumented ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases, unauthorized travel expeditions and per diem claims, and by issuing to himself and cashing DLVC checks. These expenditures were for his personal use and the expenditure of DLVC funds in these ways were not approved by DLVC.
After imposing sentence, Judge Beistline told Charles that he was elected to a position of responsibility and then abused the position of trust he was given. Violating that obligation injured not only Charles, now a convicted felon, but members of his family and his community. However, he cooperated with the investigation and immediately took responsibility for his actions, including paying restitution expeditiously. For those reasons, a sentence of probation was justified.
Mr. Feldis commended the United States Department of the Interior, Office of Inspector General, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Charles.