Havre Daily News - News you can use

 
 

By Tim Leeds 

Rocky Boy clinic employee charged

Garcia Duran pleads not guilty

 

October 28, 2013



Another indictment accusing someone of embezzling at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has been unsealed, the fourth this year accusing someone of taking federal funds allocated to the tribal government.

Garcia Duran, 35, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Great Falls last week to charges of theft from an Indian tribal organization and theft from a health care facility.

According to the indictment, Duran, a supply technician at the Health Board at Rocky Boy, purchased goods and services for his personal use and billed the Health Board between August 2009 and February 2010. While the amount he is alleged to have embezzled is not listed, the indictment says it was more than $1,000.

Duran could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release for the first charge, and 10 years in prison and three years supervised release for the second.

Judge Keith Strong set a pretrial telephone conference for Nov. 6 for Garcia, who is released on special conditions, with Chief District Judge Dana Christensen for Nov. 6.

Duran is the second Health Board employee indicted on embezzlement charges this year.

Health Board CEO Fawn Tadios pleaded not guilty in June to charges she embezzled funds from the clinic and Health Board, including funds the indictment says she used to visit her husband in federal prison in South Dakota.

Her husband, Raymond “Jake” Parker, pleaded guilty in 2011 to embezzling from the Chippewa Cree Tribe by charging nearly $60,000 on a credit card issued to the Chippewa Cree government.

Tadios is scheduled to go to trial on the charges Jan. 14 in federal court in Great Falls.

Two other sets of Rocky Boy indictments also are pending trial.

Former state Rep. and Chippewa Cree Business Committee member Tony Belcourt, the chair and CEO of the tribally owned Chippewa Cree Construction Corp, and his wife, Hailey Belcourt, James Eastlick Sr. and his daughter and son-in-law, Tammy and Mark Leischner, all of Laurel, have pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzling federal stimulus dollars allocated to the regional water project on which Chippewa Cree Construction is the lead contractor.

Trial on those charges before Judge Christensen is set for Feb. 3.

The Belcourts in a second set of charges, and James Howard Eastlick Jr ., son of the Laurel James Eastlick, and Box Elder construction company owner Hunter Burns, along with Hunter Burns Construction which is partly owned and managed by James Eastlick Jr ., are charged in another indictment. That indictment alleges that with Burns and Eastlick Jr ., who the indictment says was a 49 percent owner and manager of Hunter Burns Construction, paid bribes to the Belcourts in exchange for Tony Belcourt awarding contracts in the Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana Regional Water System project to the construction company.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and are scheduled to go to trial Dec. 10.

 

Reader Comments

(11)

downyours writes:

kyle-havre is located in a unique position; between two reservations that spend a GREAT amount of money in havre and thus contribute MIGHTLY to the havre economy.

wonderingtoo writes:

KEVINKYLESAINT, man that was corny.

kevinkylesaint writes:

yes we do pay taxes like everyone else. if you have land on a rez, you don't get to sell it (its called a lease), you can't get a loan on it, and when you put a house on it, it doesn't have value. so land on a rez is not taxed but a value (look up who assigns this 'value') is not assigned it either. however, were I to buy land that was assigned a value, I would pay taxes on that land, like everyone else. the state does not tax this land because our 'state' the tribe, does not levy them.

Kevin writes:

@upyours No you dont pay taxes like we do, federal income taxes are not levied on income from trust lands held for them by the United States; state income taxes are not paid on income earned on an Indian reservation; state sales taxes are not paid by Indians on transactions made on an Indian reservation; and local property taxes are not paid on reservation or trust land. What about subsidies/grants for Indian health services, Native American Housing Block Grant program and there are more.

Kyle writes:

@upyours No you dont pay taxes like we do, federal income taxes are not levied on income from trust lands held for them by the United States; state income taxes are not paid on income earned on an Indian reservation; state sales taxes are not paid by Indians on transactions made on an Indian reservation; and local property taxes are not paid on reservation or trust land. What about subsidies/grants for Indian health services, Native American Housing Block Grant program and there are more.

Spunky writes:

Ok I really don't give a crap who was here first. When funds are misused people need to pay for that. I don't care if you are white, black, brown or whatever! If the reservation is considered it's own nation then maybe they should have their own funding.

upyours writes:

I am from Rocky Boy and I do pay taxes just like anyone else, our tax dollars should be placed back into our community and not to all the Welfare recipients that don't live on our beautiful reservations. We were placed here in all the mountainous areas that the white man thought would never have nothing, but we have the most beautiful land in this so called world of yours. This was our land first, if anyone needs to go back it is the immigrants (whites) that came here with Chistohper Columbus.

EnoughAlready writes:

Grandpa most historians agree that the so called native Americans walked over a land bridge near the Bering Straights to arrive in this new world themselves. While they were here first they did not have the military might to hold all the land they claimed. These people are the only people in the history of the world to be paid off for over two centuries with appeasment dollars that were designed to give them a boost in the new land............not total lifelong perpetual support.

Grampa writes:

Turn that frown uside down grumpy or you could always go back to where your fourfathers came from and see how your tax dollars help those over the pond!

Grumpy writes:

This stealing of funds will never quit until some of these with the sticky fingers and greedy relatives wind up in Federal Prison for some extended stay, like a minimum of 20 yrs. and make it mandatory also. I am tired of seeing my tax dollars stolen, so maybe we can stop handing out money to these reservations, time to quit, we owe them nothing.

SMH writes:

Release the hounds and let the hatefulness flow from the lips of the noble, spiritual, earth respecting natives of Rocky Boy.