HOMER (AP) -- A fisheries permit broker in Homer was charged with theft Wednesday.
Deborah Moore, 40, is suspected of stealing more than $289,000 in funds handled by her brokerage.
The brokerage arranged for the sale of fishing permits, commercial fishing boats and individual fishing quotas.
Moore is accused of scamming at least eight people out of their money or investing the money in a scam and losing it.
Troopers were tipped off after a Palmer man contacted them earlier this month. The man said he had paid $10,000 to Moore's brokerage for a Bristol Bay fishing permit.
After transferring the money, Moore said the permit was off the market but that she was looking at another, the man told troopers.
After some time, the man called again and Moore told him she could not get the permit and had lost the money through an accounting error.
By Jan. 15, troopers also were contacted by Homer resident Mathew Pancratz, who sold $158,000 worth of halibut quota share through the brokerage. He said he did not receive any of it.
Pancratz said his quota share was sold legitimately to another buyer and he does not know what to do about his loss.
In meetings with FBI investigators, Moore and her lawyers said the money was lost on a Nigerian scam that they want the bureau to investigate.
Moore made no comment at her arraignment Thursday. Prosecutors asked that she be held on $500,000 bail but District Court Judge Francis Neville ordered her held on $100,000 bail.
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