Rocky Boy clinic employee charged
Garcia Duran pleads not guilty
Last updated 10/28/2013 at 10:40am
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.
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.