Former youth hockey treasurer sentenced to 14 months for embezzlement

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 11:43

An Eagle River woman has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for stealing from an Eagle River youth hockey association while serving as treasurer.

Jennifer Suchan, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to 14 months in prison at a Tuesday hearing in Anchorage. Suchan previously pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud. As part of her plea deal, Suchan agreed to pay $170,353 in restitution.

Suchan was arrested in June of 2017 after Mustang Hockey Association president Joey Merrick said he found irregularities in the association’s finances after checking online bank accounts. A police investigation followed, which led to Suchan’s arrest on felony theft charges. According to investigators, Suchan stole approximately $150,000 while serving as the association’s volunteer treasurer between August of 2015 and the summer of 2017.

Suchan was originally charged in state court, but the state case was dropped to make way for a federal prosecution this spring.

In a press release about the sentencing released Tuesday, the U.S. District Attorney’s office said Suchan began stealing from the hockey association by forging the signature of a board member in order to write checks to herself from the nonprofit’s account. Prosecutors said she “repeatedly forged checks to herself over the course of two and a half years.”

Prosecutors said Suchan used the money to pay for a chicken coop, family vacations to Disneyland and Alyeska Resort; payments for a BMW; and mortgage payments on her Eagle River home.

Suchan will have to serve three years of supervised release as part of her sentence.

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