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Six charged with stealing from Fort Peck

 

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Six former employees of the Fort Peck Tribes' Credit Department have been charged with stealing at least $1 million from the organization through fraudulent loans and lost interest payments over a 10-year period. From August 1999 through May 2009, the group issued and approved fraudulent loans and other payments for themselves and family members, and then altered records to conceal the loans from authorities, prosecutors said. Shelley D. Pipe, 44, of Wolf Point along with Poplar residents Paul J. Bemer, 41, Dolly D. Crowe, 45, Angelita M. Headdress, 27, Evadna Running Bear, 69, and Connie J. Smith, 51, are charged with theft from an Indian tribal organization and obstruction of a federal audit. They pleaded not guilty Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Keith Strong and were released on special conditions. Fort Peck Tribal Chairman A.T. "Rusty" Stafne said the tribes discovered the alleged embezzlement after taking over control of the credit department from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in December 2008.

 
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