According to news sources, three former tribal leaders were indicted in California on 69 counts alleging that they embezzled $6 million in funds belonging to their tribe. The federal grand jury returned the indictment on Jan. 5.
Those who were indicted included a 53-year-old Redding man, a 73-year-old Orland woman and a 62-year-old Glenn County woman. Authorities state that the three were tribal leaders and officers for the Nomlaki Indians' Paskenta Band in Glenn and Tehama counties. The tribe derives substantial revenues from the Rolling Hills Casino, which is operated on tribal land.
Authorities claim that the three each made false claims that the tribe had given them lines of credit of $5 million. One of the three also failed to file tax returns while another did not list the money that he had received on his income tax forms. Authorities state that the three embezzled funds from the tribe between 2009 and 2014. They also allege that the three created false documents purporting to show a line of credit and destroyed computer records in an effort to conceal the embezzlement. If they are convicted, each faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the charge of filing a false document during a federal investigation. The remaining counts each carry potential maximums ranging from five to 20 years in prison.
People who are charged with embezzlement may face severe penalties if they are convicted as charged. If they learn that they are being investigated, they might want to consult with a criminal defense attorney who is experienced with these types of cases. An attorney may be able to work out an agreement for the client to pay restitution in full in exchange for no criminal charges being filed.
Source: Daily News, "Former tribal leaders charged with embezzling $6M," Jan. 6, 2017