Havre Daily News
The treasurer for the 2004 Veterans Day Powwow at Fort Belknap pleaded guilty Friday to stealing bingo proceeds intended for the powwow.
Donald Lee Farrar, 44, of Harlem pleaded guilty to a charge of theft in U.S. District Court in Great Falls, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Farrar will be sentenced on July 15, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Farrar faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
A financial analyst employed by the FBI examined the bingo records from the period Nov, 11, 2003, through Nov. 11, 2004. The analysis revealed that $5,610 was not accounted for, the press release said.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Farrar volunteered to serve as treasurer of the Veterans Powwow Committee and was responsible for collecting proceeds from tribal bingo games and depositing them in a bank account for the annual powwow. Bingo proceeds are the primary source of cash awards given out at the powwow, the press release said.
In November 2003, Ivan Jackson was appointed to coordinate the preparations for the Nov. 12-14, 2004, powwow at the Red Whip Center at Fort Belknap. Farrar told Jackson he was depositing the bingo funds in the bank, and in early October 2004, said the account had about $14,000, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
On Oct. 28, 2004, Jackson had to deposit a check into the account and learned that prior to his deposit, the account held $2,002, the press release said.
According the the press release, when Jackson confronted Farrar, Farrar said he had loaned the money to his mother to buy a certificate of deposit.
Farrar repeatedly told Jackson that he had the money, the press release said. Jackson tried to collect the money from Farrar early on Nov. 14, 2004, but couldn't find him. Farrar's wife located him in the parking lot of the Red Whip Center, and Farrar said he had been stabbed in the stomach and robbed of about $5,500, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
When law enforcement officers interviewed Farrar, he admitted taking $6,510 from the powwow committee, according to the press release.