S'Klallam Tribal Center.jpg
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S'Klallam Tribal Center
Federal prosecutors have charged two women formerly employed by the Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Tribe's Health Services Department with embezzlement,

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Federal Charges For Two Former Employees of Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Tribe In Alleged Check-Writing Free-for-All

S'Klallam Tribal Center.jpg
Image Source
S'Klallam Tribal Center
Federal prosecutors have charged two women formerly employed by the Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Tribe's Health Services Department with embezzlement, alleging that between them they made off with thousands of dollars in forged and unauthorized checks.

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In court documents filed in the case, investigators say that Danette Ives stole approximately $21,298 between at least July 2009 and November 2010, and Christina Moff took approximately $9,383.13 between at least February 2010 and February 2011. Investigators say Ives has admitted to using some of the embezzled money for credit card and payday loan debt.

According to the Determination of Probable Cause filed in the case:

The Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Tribe launched an audit of cash disbursements from the Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Tribe's Health Center in October 2010 after discovering that one or more members of the tribe was writing fraudulent checks to themselves and other tribe members. The audit continued until May 2011, and focused on the period of time between mid-2009 through February 2011.

Court documents state that the "review identified numerous discrepancies of a fraudulent nature involving principally two Tribal Health Services Department employees, identified as Danette Colleen Ives, Health Services Director, and Christian Lynn Moff, Health Services Administrative Assistant."

A spokesperson for the S'Klallam Indian Tribe declined to comment for this story.

Investigators say that two types of discrepancies were discovered during the audit - the first being differences between the payees listed on the physical checks and the names that appear on the Tribal Health Center's electronic check register, and the second involving discrepancies with the signatures that appear on the checks - with some featuring forged or "out-of-compliance authorization signatures."

Court documents indicate the Tribal Health Center maintains its own check register using Multi-ledger Accounting System software, and that updating this register was the responsibility of Moff. According to authorities, Moff "would prepare checks drawn on the Health Center's bank account after receiving or generating an internal check or reimbursement requisition. ... In turn, Christina Lynn Moff would submit the check or reimbursement requisition form for approval to Danette Collen Ives, who had payment authority up to $5,000, or to a program manager, who had payment authority up to $1,000. After generating a check, Christina Lynn Moff was then responsible for obtaining two authorizing signatures as required for each check."

According to investigators, six individuals were authorized to sign S'Klallam Health Center checks, and neither Moff nor Ives had this authority. However, one of the six people who had authorization to sign checks, Rose Purser, had a signature stamp that was maintained by Moff at her desk.

In the Determination of Probable Cause filed Oct. 18, the feds describe the discrepancies found in the check register and in the signatures used on the checks. Passages from this court document can be found on the following page. Both women are scheduled to make their first appearance in federal court in Tacoma on Oct. 26.

From the Determination of Probable Cause:

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As far as the forged or unauthorized signatures go, court documents describe the evidence against Ives and Moff:

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