Mustang Hockey Association embezzler gets 14 months
A federal fraud case against a woman who embezzled a six-figure sum from an Anchorage youth hockey group ended quietly in a local courtroom Tuesday.
Jennifer Suchan was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Tim Burgess to 14 months in prison on wire-fraud charges. Burgess also ordered that she repay the money she stole.
In May, Suchan -- the former treasurer of the Mustang Hockey Association -- admitted to forging a board member's signature on more than 140 checks, as part of a two-year scheme in which she took more than $170,000 from the group. According to investigators, Suchan used the money for personal expenses as well as family vacations.
"I think our association has been hurt quite a bit from Ms. Suchan and her actions, I think with her sentencing, it's what we were hoping for," Mustang Hockey Association Vice President Arlen Ayojiak said.
On Tuesday, a defense psychologist claimed Suchan had stolen the money in an attempt to please her husband during an abusive relationship. Burgess also heard from victims of Suchan’s embezzlement.
Suchan had already paid $20,000 in restitution at the May hearing, with federal prosecutors agreeing to delay her sentencing by six more months if she paid an additional $20,000.
Burgess sentenced Suchan to serve her prison time in Georgia, where she has since moved. After her release, Suchan will spend three years on probation.
Manny Creech and Dave Leval contributed information to this story.
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