Fairbanks Woman Accused Of Theft from Bingo Parlor

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    Federal prosecutors have accused a Fairbanks woman of stealing from an Alaska Native tribe after she allegedly took money from a tribally owned bingo parlor while working there.
    Mesepa Tagovailoa has agreed to plead guilty, according to documents filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for Alaska.
    According to prosecutors, Tagovailoa improperly took more than $4,000 belonging to Chena Bingo while working as a manager there.
    While the alleged crime involved a relatively small amount of money, Chena Bingo is co-owned by the Tanana Chiefs Conference, the Village of Grayling (a federally recognized tribe), the Fairbanks Native Association and the Athabascan Fiddlers Association.
    Because Grayling is entitled to 25% of the proceeds from Chena Bingo, the alleged theft became a federal crime.
    Tagovailoa’s federal public defender declined comment, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Brickey, the prosecutor, did not return a message seeking further information.
    While the alleged theft is punishable by up to five years in prison, prosecutors agreed “to recommend a sentence at the low end of the guideline range” as part of the plea deal.
    A hearing has been scheduled for July 11.
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July 2004
Photo caption: Junior League All Stars will compete in a tournament in Wrangell. From left are Bryn Calhoun, Chris Scott, Sean O’Neill, Ross Venneberg, Caleb McGraw, Richard Carlos, Jacob Houston, Coby McCarty, Bryan Lovett and Daniel Erickson.

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July 1974

Photo caption: Volunteers leave the Yaw Building Library with loads of books being transferred to the new Orin and Betty Stratton Library on the Sheldon Jackson campus. SJC librarian Evelyn Bonner expressed appreciation to the community for the help.

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