United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Tulalip Tribal Member Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling Nearly $400,000 From Tribal Smoke Shop
Employee Pocketed Hundreds of Dollars in Cash Daily From Cigarette Sales
ANGELA JONES VER HOEVEN, 46, a member of the Tulalip Tribes was sentenced Tuesday, November 15, 2011, to six months in prison, six months of home detention, three years of supervised release and $396,000 in restitution for 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. Between January 2008 and August 2010, VER HOEVEN embezzled more than $396,000 from the store. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said he found it very troubling that VER HOEVEN was stealing from her own tribe, her own family.
According to records in the case, 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 case was investigated by Tulalip Tribal Police and the FBI.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Tate London. Mr. London serves as a Tribal Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.