Julierose Baquera Molina. Photo: Comanche County Detention Center

Comanche Nation hails indictment against former tax commission worker

A former employee of the Comanche Nation is being accused of stealing from the Oklahoma-based tribe.

According to a July 19 indictment, Julierose Baquera Molina stole more than $1,000 from the Comanche Nation Tax Commission. The alleged theft occurred between October 2014 and March 2016.

"This is exactly the kind of corruption my administration is dedicated to eliminating forever," Chairman William Nelson said on Wednesday. "Rogue tribal members have disgraced and cheated the Comanche Nation by treating tribal bank accounts like their own personal ATM."

Nelson took office last October, following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor earlier in the year. Wallace Coffey led his people for a total of 25 years but it took a series of elections for voters to choose a replacement.

Nelson has since sought to bring greater accountability to the tribe. He noted that the tribal police department helped investigate the case against Molina, 38, who was arrested on Wednesday.

"The era of widespread abuse that brought our great Nation to the brink of bankruptcy is over," Nelson asserted. "The Comanche Nation is now on a solid path to success and prosperity because of the responsible changes our members have agreed to implement."

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, Molina could face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the charge. She is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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Comanche Nation announces shutdown of tribal college after 15 years (July 24, 2017)
Comanche Nation calls another election after results contested (September 30, 2016)
Comanche Nation schedules runoff vote over candidate's objection (August 10, 2016)
Wallace Coffey resigns as chair of Comanche Nation after 25 years (February 8, 2016)