Guam - The Guam Chamber of Commerce is responding to the indictment of one of its former employees who has been charged with embezzling more than $200,000 from the organization. The Chamber's former bookkeeper has been indicted by a federal grand jury charged with 90 counts of bank fraud.  Nicole M. Nededog is accused of altering Chamber checks and embezzling more than $200,000 between November 2006 through October 2010

According to a memorandum issued to the Chamber membership from chairman Kaleo Moylan, the organization became aware of Nededog's "sophisticated system of fraud" and reported the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that recently concluded its investigation. The indictment alleges that Nededog would have a check properly signed for the amount she was entitled to as wages and then allegedly altered the check for a much larger amount and deposited the check into her personal bank account.

Ten checks were altered on the Chamber's Armed Forces Committee Account totaling more than $22,000, and 80 checks were altered from the Chamber's Operating Account totaling $174,000. The embezzlement scheme allegedly began in February 2008 when Nededog prepared and negotiated a check payable to cash in the amount of $1,750, but she only recorded the amount in the Chamber's books as $150.  Hundreds and then thousands of dollars was taken each month but the Chamber's books only indicated small amounts or even voided checks. 

Last January, Nededog allegedly began taking even more money each month ranging from two thousand to more than $15,000 in a 30-day period. The last check for $3,300 was made out in August of last year.

As a result of the criminal actions, the Chamber has reassured its membership that the organization remains stable and committed to its mission to promote the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the community and protecting the general business interest on Guam.

Moylan added "Ongoing Chamber programs are not expected to be negatively impacted and the Chamber remains financially stable. Because the matter is now the subject of a federal prosecution, the Chamber cannot release details of the case at this time. Rest assured that considerable measures have been implemented to prevent similar violations against the organization."

Nededog meanwhile appeared in the U.S. District Court of Guam today and pleaded not guilty to the charges. She was appointed the federal public defender and is scheduled to go to trial on October 14. She was released on the condition that she obey all local and federal laws and appear in court for all court hearings.