San Carlos Woman Charged with Theft and Embezzlement is Fugitive
Wanted for Embezzlement and Theft of Over $270,000 of Tribal Funds
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 09, 2011|
PHOENIX, AZ—A federal grand jury in Phoenix recently returned a two-count indictment against Holly Faye Youvella, 33, of San Carlos, Ariz., for embezzlement and theft of tribal funds. After she was indicted on Oct. 25, 2011 and an arrest warrant was issued, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) sought to arrest Youvella on the outstanding charges and have been unable to locate her.
Youvella was last seen on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and her current whereabouts are unknown. The FBI has issued a wanted poster (below). The FBI and the BIA are asking the public’s assistance regarding the whereabouts of Holly Faye Youvella. Anyone with information regarding the location of Youvella is asked to contact the FBI at (602) 279-5511 or the BIA at (928) 338-5371.
Count one alleges that from Oct. 15, 2008 to March 18, 2010, Youvella, while serving as a bookkeeper for Peridot Shopping Center, Inc., embezzled approximately $268,106 of the shopping center’s money. She cashed approximately 237 fraudulent checks drawn from the shopping center’s checking account and made out to herself or a member of her family. Peridot Shopping Center, Inc. is a San Carlos Apache Tribal Organization.
Count two alleges that between June 18, 2010 and Aug. 5, 2010, Youvella stole approximately $4,301 by directing multiple fraudulent electronic payments from the shopping center’s checking account to personal credit and utility accounts containing balances owed by Youvella and a family member.
Convictions for embezzlement and theft of tribal funds each carry a maximum penalty of five years, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Frederick J. Martone will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the San Carlos Apache Tribal Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Frederick A. Battista, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-11-2078-001-PHX-FJM (MB)
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-251 (Youvella)