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Published May 25, 2011, 04:36 PM

8 Members of Spirit Lake Tribe Charged with Conspiracy to Embezzle

Eight members of the Spirit Lake Tribe have been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiracy to embezzle from an Indian tribal organization.

By: WDAZ Staff Report,

Eight members of the Spirit Lake Tribe have been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiracy to embezzle from an Indian tribal organization and aiding and abetting, U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said Wednesday.

The eight defendants are Martina Kazena, William Kazena, Raymond Jetty, III, Tanya Jetty, Shaela Jetty, Lorna Walking Eagle, Rochelle Walking Eagle and Bruce Walking Eagle. They made their initial appearances on May 7, 2011, in Grand Forks and all plead not guilty.

The eight were indicted as part of the conspiracy and are alleged to "willfully embezzle, steal, and missaply property, moneys, funds, and credits belonging to the Vocational Rehabilitation Program," which is administered by the Spirit Lake Tribe in Fort Totten, ND, according to the indictment.

Earlier this year, five other tribal members, including two tribal council members, pleaded not guilty to similar charges.

The maximum sentence for conspiracy to embezzle from an Indian tribal organization is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is being investigated by the FBI.

A trial for all defendants is scheduled for July 12 in United States District Court in Grand Forks.

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