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Hearing postponed for Native leader accused of embezzlement

Posted: January 8, 2014 - 12:40pm  |  Updated: January 9, 2014 - 6:07pm
Robert "Bob" Loescher, left, stands as Southeast Alaskan Native Veterans present the colors during opening ceremonies of the 77th Annual Tribal Assembly of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska in April, 2012. The Assembly voted Loescher as their Delegate/Citizen of the Year.  Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File
Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File
Robert "Bob" Loescher, left, stands as Southeast Alaskan Native Veterans present the colors during opening ceremonies of the 77th Annual Tribal Assembly of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska in April, 2012. The Assembly voted Loescher as their Delegate/Citizen of the Year.

A court hearing was recently postponed for the former Sealaska Corp. president accused of embezzling money from two Alaska Native-run nonprofits.

Robert W. Loescher, 66, was slated to appear in Juneau District Court on Tuesday, but the preliminary hearing was moved to March 7 at the last minute.

Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp told the Empire it was pushed back to give the attorneys more time to discuss the case before it is presented to a grand jury. She did not say what the subject of discussion was.

Prosecutors say Loescher, a 66-year-old long-standing leader in the Native community and former Sealaska Corp. president and chief executive officer, stole $21,500 from the bank accounts of a legal defense fund that protects subsistence rights (the Alaska Subsistence Defense Fund) and another entity that addresses security of traditional food resources (the Alaska Traditional Foods Security Council). He was the director of those programs at the time.

Loescher is facing one felony charge of second-degree theft. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in early December.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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