United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
TULALIP TRIBAL MEMBER CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING NEARLY $400,000 FROM TRIBAL SMOKE SHOP
Employee Allegedly Pocketed Hundreds of Dollars in Cash Daily From Cigarette Sales
ANGELA JONES VER HOEVEN, 46, a member of the Tulalip Tribes was charged last week with Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization. VER HOEVEN was employed at the Tulalip Liquor Store and Smoke Shop, a business owned and operated by the Tulalip Tribes. According to the charging complaint, between January 2008 and August 2010, VER HOEVEN embezzled more than $396,000 from the store. VER HOEVEN was arrested on the charge last week. She is free on bond pending a preliminary hearing later this month.
According to the charging complaint, the store first became aware of the possible embezzlement in August 2010, when a customer called requesting a receipt for four cartons of cigarettes she purchased at the drive-through window. No entry for a four carton sale could be found. Store managers suspected that VER HOEVEN was only ringing up one carton sold, while accepting cash for multiple cartons. The managers discovered VER HOEVEN sold six cartons to a person working on the investigation, while only ringing up a one carton sale. VER HOEVEN allegedly pocketed the additional cash. Tulalip Tribal Police confronted VER HOEVEN about the embezzlement and her employment was terminated. A forensic review of the smoke shop records estimates VER HOEVEN stole as much as $396,043 over 32 months. Further investigation revealed that VER HOEVEN had significant gambling losses at Quil Ceda Creek Casino during the year prior to her termination at the smoke shop.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by Tulalip Tribal Police and the FBI.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Tate London. Mr. London serves as a Tribal Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.