Former employee of Dillingham’s Curyung Tribe accused of embezzlement

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The Curyung Tribal Council building in Dillingham on March 5, 2024. (Christina McDermott/KDLG)

A former Curyung Tribe employee has been charged in state court with embezzling nearly $80,000 from the Tribe in Dillingham. Former financial manager William Corbett faces six felony charges, including theft, forgery and evidence tampering.

According to a charging document against Corbett, officials with the Tribe learned during an audit in late February that Corbett had embezzled a total of $77,476.19 since October.

According to the charges, Gayla Hoseth, the Tribe’s first chief, locked Corbett’s email and accounting software on the evening of Feb. 26 in an attempt to preserve evidence. She reported the case to Dillingham police the following morning.

The criminal complaint says that Corbett regained access to the Tribe’s accounting software on Feb. 27 after it was locked. He then allegedly altered 20 checks and invoices, all of which were initially filed before his employment. Law enforcement suspects that Corbett made these edits in an attempt to conceal changes to checks that were for misappropriated funds.

The Tribe provided police with five checks, made out to both Corbett and to companies owned by Corbett, Bristol Suppliers and Datton LLC, as evidence. The earliest check was dated Oct. 6, and the most recent check was allegedly deposited on Feb. 20

Curyung Tribe council members also identified two allegedly forged signatures of former and current Tribal officials on one of the checks.

Hoseth declined a recorded interview, but said in an email that the Tribe is fully cooperating with law enforcement on the ongoing investigation.

The court documents state that Corbett was the only employee overseeing the Tribe’s finances during the theft. Embezzlement and theft from a tribal organization is also a federal crime. It is unclear if Corbett will face federal charges at this time.

Corbett’s bail hearing is scheduled for March 5. His pre-indictment hearing is scheduled for March 19.

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