A Havre businessman and former school board chair and a former state and tribal official and his wife were scheduled to appear in federal court in Great Falls this morning to again answer charges they embezzled disaster money at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.
Former Havre school board chair Shad Huston and Tony and Hailey Belcourt pleaded not guilty last fall to charges they conspired to embezzle money the tribal government received to repair damage from the 2010 flood.
Tony Belcourt, the CEO of the tribally owned Chippewa Cree Construction Corp. that was the lead contractor for the disaster repair work, was a previous Chippewa Cree Tribe council member and a former state representative.
The federal government re-indicted the three Feb. 20 in a 19-page document alleging Belcourt made payments to Huston through his businesses including TMP Services and K & N Consulting with the understanding Huston would make payments back to Belcourt, “so that both could corruptly profit from the expenditure of tribal insurance and (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funds.”
The indictment lists $597,895 it says are payments from Chippewa Cree Construction or the the Chippewa Cree Tribe to Huston’s businesses between May 20, 2011, and Dec. 22, 2011, and $322,500 in payments made by Huston or his businesses to Tony and Hailey Belcourt between June 24, 2011, and Dec. 22, 3011.