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Copper Center woman enters embezzlement case pleas

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Copper Center woman has pleaded guilty to charges accusing her of embezzling more than $20,000 from an Alaska Native village.

Michelle Dodds, 41, pleaded guilty to falsifying business records and theft on June 6, according to Alaska State Troopers. She is a former tribal administrator for the Village of Kluti-Kaan.

Alaska State Troopers say she and an accomplice stole at least $23,554.

Dodds' position allowed her access to the village's bookkeeping program and she was able to write, but not sign, checks from the village's account, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/W11E2U ).

A tribal board member, 41-year-old Carlene Pete, was indicted in September on charges of theft and misapplying funds. A status hearing is scheduled July 7 in Glennallen in her case.

Dodds' sentencing was set for Sept. 3 in Glennallen. She has indicated she plans to pay restitution. Since she has no prior felonies, she faces up to two years in prison.

Dodds' attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. Pete's attorney, Eric Auten, of Valdez, declined to comment since the case hasn't yet been resolved.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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