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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

Friday, January 17, 2014

Valdez Man Sentenced for Failure to File an Income Tax Return That Should Have Included Income He Received From Funds His Sister Stole from The Native Village of Tatitlek

Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Valdez man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for willful failure to file an income tax return.  

James Kramer, 48 of Valdez, Alaska was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason, to 8 months in prison and a $2,000 fine.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward, Kramer’s sister Lori “Sue” Clum (formerly Johnson) 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.  Clum refused to accept the results of the election and maintained control of the tribal bank accounts for another year during which she misapplied $112,000 of tribal funds for her personal benefit.  Clum gave $20,000 of the funds she misapplied to her brother James Kramer.  When asked what he did with the $20,000 cash Kramer indicated he “squandered it partying.” 

Kramer earned a total of $127,800 in income for 2009 including the $20,000 he received from his sister knowing she had misapplied the funds from the Native Village of Tatitlek.  Kramer willfully failed to file a tax return for any of the income he earned in 2009, and he also willfully failed to file tax returns for 2008, and 2010. 

“Kramer personally benefited from stolen funds belonging to the Tatitlek Tribe,” said Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation for Alaska.  “These precious funds were meant to provide a stable government and community for the Tatitlek people not to line the pockets of fraudsters.  When you steal from your community law enforcement will be quick to respond and bring the full weight of the American justice system with it.”

Judge Gleason noted that Kramer’s failure to pay taxes on income that included criminal proceeds is a more serious offense than just failing to pay taxes. 

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