South Dakota Project Fights Financial Crimes Against Tribes
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – The U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Dakota says a project has uncovered dozens of people and organizations that collectively stole millions of dollars from nine Native American reservations.
The office’s spokeswoman, Aileen Crawford, tells the Rapid City Journal that the Guardians Project has led to 42 convictions on federal charges including fraud, theft and embezzlement from tribes and tribal organizations.
The project, which launched in 2015, brings together local and federal agencies to investigate allegations of corruption and financial crimes against the state’s Native American communities. Many of the convictions have involved tribal employees, tribal executives and out-of-state business owners.
A former cashier for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s bingo operations was most recently charged with embezzlement and larceny after being accused of stealing more than $1,000 from the business.