Ex-comptroller sentenced to 2 years in prison for stealing from Arizona tribe

Nov 15, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2023, 8:14 am

Photo of scales and gavel....

Scales and gavel (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX (AP) — A former comptroller has been sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling more than $670,000 from a tribal organization, federal authorities said Tuesday.

They said 36-year-old Savannah Sandoval, of Camp Verde, also was ordered to pay more than $650,000 restitution to the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Prosecutors said Sandoval pleaded guilty in August to embezzlement and theft from the tribe and was sentenced last week.

As comptroller and executive director of the Yavapai-Apache Nation Housing Department in the Camp Verde area of north-central Arizona, Sandoval was the supervisor of the accounting department and oversaw day-to-day activities and financial transactions.

Authorities said she had access to housing department credit cards and knowledge of its vendor accounts.

It was discovered last year that there had been hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases on tribal credit cards.

Authorities said that on at least 184 occasions, funds were fraudulently transferred by Sandoval into her personal accounts.

Between August 2017 and May 2022, Sandoval was accused of embezzling $670,908 from the tribe including over $133,000 of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Indian Housing Block Grant Funds.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Deshan Begay, 24, was struck by a vehicle while walking when he didn't have the right of way, polic...

Man fatally struck while crossing I-10 access road at red light in Phoenix

Deshan Begay, 24, was crossing the I-10 westbound access road on Wednesday evening when a vehicle fatally struck him, Phoenix police said.

11 minutes ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

1 hour ago

Preston Lord murder suspect Talyn Vigil posted bond and was released from jail on April 12, 2024. (...

Talyn Vigil, suspect in murder of Preston Lord, posts bonds and is released from jail

Talyn Vigil, one of seven suspects indicted in the murder of 16-year-old Preston Lord in Queen Creek, posted bond and was released from jail Friday, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Santokh "Sam" Singh went missing in Gilbert on April 12, 2024. (DPS Photo)...

Silver Alert issued for 79-year-old man who went missing in Gilbert

A Silver Alert was issued Friday for a 79-year-old man who went missing in Gilbert earlier in the day, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

5 hours ago

Runesha White, 22, is accused of stabbing a man in the back after he recorded a separate fight on A...

Woman arrested after fight leads to stabbing, shooting in Glendale

A woman was arrested and two people were hospitalized after a fight led to a stabbing and a shooting in Glendale on Wednesday night.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Ex-comptroller sentenced to 2 years in prison for stealing from Arizona tribe