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Press Release

Former President of Tatitlek Native Village Sentenced to 18 Months for Misapplication of Tribal Funds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

Lori “Sue” Clum (formerly Johnson), 46, of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason, to 18 months in prison.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward, Clum was elected as President of the Native Village of Tatitlek, a federally recognized tribe, in October 2007.  Clum was voted out of office in April 2008 but refused to accept the results of this election and maintained control of the tribal bank accounts for another year, during which time she misapplied $112,000 of tribal funds for her personal benefit.  Clum used the money to gamble, pay personal debts, and purchase a four wheeler among other things.  Clum finally relinquished control of the tribal bank accounts after she was arrested for illegal drug possession in March 2009. 

In a separate but related matter, Clum confessed judgment in a civil case brought by the Native Village of Tatitlek for a total of $150,000 that she misapplied, which amount included disputed payroll for Clum.  Clum was arrested on January 13, 2013, on state charges that she was selling drugs and alcohol in Tatitlek.  These charges are still pending. 

At sentencing, Judge Gleason noted the importance of deterring this type of conduct in remote communities with fragile economies where fraud like this has an enormous impact, as well as the emotional impact on a small community.

Clum’s brother, James Kramer of Valdez, Alaska, is scheduled for sentencing on January 22, 2014, for his role in accepting $20,000 from Clum.  Kramer accepted the money knowing he was not entitled to it, and he failed to file a tax return to include this money as well as other income he had received in 2009.

Ms. Loeffler commends the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigations, and EPA Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Valdez Police Department, for the investigation of this case.

Updated January 29, 2015