The former chair of the tribal council at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has been sentenced to 16 months with the federal Bureau of Prisons and ordered to pay back nearly $60,000 he stole from the Chippewa Cree Tribe.
Raymond “Jake” Parker Jr., 56, who resigned as chair of the Chipppewa Cree Tribe’s Business Committee May 24, pleaded guilty May 25 to racking up $58,938.23 in personal purchases on a credit card issued to the tribe to pay for official business.
Federal Judge Sam. E. Haddon of Great Falls imposed the 16-month sentence on Parker, and set three years of supervised release as well as ordering him to pay the full amount back in restitution as well as a $100 special assessment.
The investigation into the charges found that Parker applied Nov. 9, 2009, for the card, to be used for official tribal business. Between May 10, 2009, and Nov. 19, 2010, Parker charged $22,229.29 in purchases and $36,708.94 in cash advances.
He used the credit card for unauthorized purchases and cash advances in Box Elder, Havre, Great Falls and other places in Montana. The statements also showed that Parker used the tribal credit card for unauthorized purchases and cash advances in Las Vegas, Spokane, Post Falls, Reno, Denver and elsewhere.
Parker had not made any payments to cover the charges and had not reimbursed the tribe.
After Parker resigned as Rocky Boy tribal council chair, Vice Chair Bruce Sunchild was appointed interim chair to take his place. He later won a special election to fill the term of the positon.