AP audit uncovers embezzlement within Alaska whaling commission

Teresa Judkins, the former executive director of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, was recently indicted for misappropriating more than $100,000 of the group's funds, Reuters reports.

An Anchorage grand jury determined that Judkins had embezzled more than $40,000 from the organization in 2007, and stole an additional $60,000 in 2008 before she was fired later that year.

An accounts payable audit indicated that Judkins took payroll advances without paying them back and charged the commission for a variety of personal expenses. These included the purchase of a snowmobile and a variety of expenditures related to trips she and her relatives had taken, despite the fact that they had nothing to do with AEWC business.

Judkins was charged with two counts each of theft, fraud, and misapplication from an organization receiving federal funds. She faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

Before being appointed to the position of executive director, Judkins spent a decade working as the commission's accountant and finance director, the Alaska Dispatch reports.

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