Warrant out for missing defendant in PFD fraud case

A Haines woman accused of Permanent Fund Dividend fraud missed her sentencing hearing in Juneau on Tuesday, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg ordered the $2,500 bench warrant for Lisa M. Stevens, 38, at the request of prosecutors. Stevens’ attorney, Assistant Public Defender Timothy Ayer, said he had no information about her whereabouts.

Prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals accused Stevens of applying for and receiving PFD checks for her child from 2008 through 2011 while her child was living out of state with a legal guardian. No absences were noted in the PFD applications, they said. Charging documents indicate the money was deposited into her child’s savings account.

A Juneau grand jury indicted Stevens on three counts of unsworn falsification and three counts of second-degree theft in September. Both offenses are felonies that carry a maximum possible punishment of five years in prison.

Court records online show Stevens pleaded guilty in October to one count of second-degree theft, and the other counts were dismissed. The plea deal has not been accepted by the judge yet.

Attorneys on Tuesday indicated the plea deal only called for suspended jail time. In light on Stevens‚ absence, Pallenberg warned he would have to be persuaded that should be the case.

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

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