Former Executive Director Of Alaska Inter-Tribal Council Sentenced To 21 Months In Federal Prison For Theft Of Funds
Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that the former Executive Director of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council (“AITC”), a non-profit organization that advocates in support of tribal governments throughout Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 21 months in prison for his theft of funds belonging to the organization. Steven D. Osborne, 44, of Fairbanks, Alaska, who served as the Executive Director of AITC from December 2007 until February 2008, admitted to stealing approximately $145,000 in AITC funds while he served in that capacity.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Bottini, AITC received substantial federal funding in 2008 and 2009 – including a federal grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency of in excess of a million dollars. As the Executive Director, Osborne had access to AITC bank accounts and credit and debit cards issued to him by the organization. The investigation established that Osborne was able to steal the funds through a number of different ways, including cash withdrawals, checks written to himself, credit and debit card transactions, and the submission of false time cards.
Osborne was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 2013, and pled guilty in April 2015 to one count of Theft from an Organization Receiving Federal Funds. Several individuals associated with AITC addressed the court at sentencing and noted that as a result of Osborne’s thefts, AITC became ineligible for further federal funding because the organization was considered “high risk”. Without federal funding, AITC was basically rendered a defunct organization, and it remains so today.
In imposing the 21 month sentence, United States District Judge Sharon L. Gleason noted the catastrophic results which Osborne’s actions caused to AITC. In addition to the prison sentence, Osborne was directed to pay $145,000 in restitution to AITC, and was further directed to forfeit the same amount of money.
Ms. Loeffler commends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation of this case.