News and Press Releases

Spokane Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over $20,000 from
Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe

September 21, 2012

COEUR D’ALENE – Debora J. Zimmerman, 46, of Spokane, Washington, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Coeur d’Alene to embezzlement from an Indian Tribal Organization, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to court documents, between September 2008 and September 2010, Zimmerman, who was the Finance Operations Director for the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Housing Authority, embezzled over $20,000 by issuing herself unauthorized paychecks, making unapproved purchases, and through other means.

The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

Sentencing is set for November 30, 2012, before Chief United States District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

“Those who are entrusted with public funds have a solemn obligation to act in the public interest,” said Olson. “Ms. Zimmerman violated the trust placed in her by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. She put personal gain ahead of her public obligation. I commend the thorough investigation that brought justice in this case.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General.