State Chamber bookkeeper charged with embezzlement

Posted: Friday, February 21, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) -- A bookkeeper for the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce faces felony charges after officials uncovered an embezzlement that included cashing a dead woman's check.

The check was written to Karen Brand, 33, the woman who in August fatally shot retired Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Glenn Godfrey, critically wounded his wife and then killed herself.

Dawn E. Wolf, 34, was arraigned Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court on felony charges of theft and falsifying business records. The charges, included in a grand jury indictment, stem from alleged incidents occurring between November 2001 and Jan. 31, when Wolf worked as a bookkeeper for the Juneau office of the state chamber, an organization of private business owners that promotes growth and development in Alaska.

The Dawn Wolf charged in the case is not Dawn A. Wolfe, a well-known Juneau accountant.

Through defense attorney David George, Wolf pleaded innocent Wednesday. George said his office is investigating the case and declined further comment.

District Attorney Rick Svobodny said chamber officials discovered the organization's books did not balance late last year and conducted an audit.

Officials were tipped off when they came across a $122 check cashed by Brand, who was chamber vice president. Svobodny said the check was cashed after Brand's death.

''They knew then something not good was going on,'' Svobodny said.

Auditors found Wolf had been writing checks to herself from the chamber account, Svobodny said. The state contends Wolf's scam spanned two years and totaled about $8,000.

Pamela LaBolle, state chamber president, declined to comment on the case.

Wolf is free on her own recognizance.

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