Woman accused of defrauding Yakutat widow no longer county treasurer

Carla Sigler unable to obtain bond needed for county treasurer seat in Texas
A woman accused of defrauding a Yakutat widow out of $700,000 and using the money to purchase a home in Bosque County, Texas will not serve as treasurer there.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 6:24 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A woman accused of defrauding a Yakutat widow out of $700,000 and using the money to purchase a home in Bosque County, Texas will not serve as treasurer there. Last November, Carla Sigler was elected county treasurer but failed to obtain the required bond needed to maintain that position.

On Nov. 13 of 2022, Alaska Superior Court Judge Daniel Schally ordered Vern and Carla Sigler to pay $1.47 million for defrauding now-deceased Yakutat resident Neva Ogle. It was and still is the largest single judgment ever secured by Alaska’s Office of Elder Fraud & Assistance.

“The office of county treasurer is now vacant for lack of treasurer-elect to obtain a bond,” announced Bosque County Judge Cindy Vanlandingham during a board meeting on New Year’s Day.

Sigler was appointed as treasurer of Bosque County, Texas, and then won the election before news of the Ogle case was publicized.

“I don’t believe that the Bosque County public really knew what was going on in Alaska,” Elder Fraud Division Deputy Director Beth Goldstein said. “They wouldn’t have.”

Goldstein says back in 2012, when Ogle was in her mid-eighties — and likely in the early stages of dementia — the Sigler’s drained her bank account over time.

“The Sigler’s borrowed money from Neva, they lied to her about what they needed the money for,” Goldstein said. “They deceived her about paying the money back and they never paid more than about $13,000 back out of $700,000.”

According to Goldstein, Ogle first loaned the Sigler’s $250,000, and another check for $450,000 a year later.

“They purchased a home in Texas for cash, they purchased a new truck, they moved from Yakutat to Texas,” Goldstein said. “They bought things for themselves and their relatives.”

After moving to Meridian Texas, Sigler became the Bosque County treasurer. Goldstein says it didn’t take long before folks there heard about her past.

“After the elder fraud story hit, there were, I think there was a movement in Bosque County to have her removed,” Goldstein said.

Sigler was elected as treasurer in November but had problems finding an agency willing to bond her.

“It’s to make sure that monies aren’t stolen and the like, and mistakes aren’t made,” Goldstein said.

Last week, Sigler notified Bosque County officials that she was unable to get bonded. During a meeting, county officials there discussed what happened.

“Company one denied the bond, referring her to the high-risk bonding companies,” Vanlandingham said. “Company two denied the bond.”

Judge Vanlandingham then read a letter Sigler addressed to board members. In it, Sigler did little to accept responsibility or blame for anything leading up to the failure to obtain bond.

“I do not decline to take office, but according to law and the circumstances described above have made it impossible for me to take office,” Vanlandingham read to board members. “This is regrettable not only for myself but for the people of the county that voted for me and are expecting their vote to count.”

Bosque county officials then vacated Sigler’s seat. Goldstein feels that it’s a form of justice for the way the Siglers defrauded Ogle out of her life savings.

“I believe the Sigler’s never intended to pay it back, I don’t think they had the means to pay it back,” Goldstein said. “I think it definitely caught up with them.”

The Sigler’s filed bankruptcy and are appealing the judgment against them. Meanwhile, a former county treasurer, Pam Browning has been appointed to fill Sigler’s full term.