BILLINGS (AP) — Defendants in a corruption case on a Montana American Indian reservation won't have to repay most of the money they received through a fraudulent billing scheme, federal prosecutors said Friday.
Seven defendants pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial after authorities said they diverted roughly $500,000 from tribal accounts while doing cultural monitoring work for the Crow Indian Tribe.
Prosecutors pursued the case only on behalf of the tribe — not the outside companies that sought the monitoring work. As a result, U.S. District Judge Susan Watters said in a recent order that the defendants could be held liable only for a combined $48,370 in direct losses to the tribe.
That means the defendants, including several members of the prominent Old Horn family, will keep most of the scheme's proceeds, prosecutors said.
Details in Monday's Havre Daily News.