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UDPATE: Arapaho embezzlement, former director apologizes

Submitted by Newsroom on November 30, 2011 – 12:00 pm3 Comments

By KVOW/KTAK News Director Leslie Stratmoen

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A former director of the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s social services agency has apologized for his role in the embezzlement of up to $175,000 in federal funds intended for needy families.

On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced the 65-year-old former director George Moss to three years of probation, six months of which he’ll be under house arrest.

The sentence is a far cry from the 10 years of prison he faced for his part in the embezzling scheme that involved two of his employees at the agency located on Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation.

Prosecutors say Moss improperly approved requests from those employees for pay advances or loans over nearly a year’s time, from 2005-2006, but didn’t receive any of the money himself. The amount stolen had been estimated at $135,000, but the federal judge on Tuesday upped that number $175,000.

The two employees, Melody St. Clair and payroll clerk Amanda Addison Ortiz, have already been convicted of the crime. Ortiz was the organization’s payroll clerk. St. Clair’s job was to manage and track the agency’s money.

The two split the money, which, according to court documents they siphoned from the accounts by a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand at a time by submitting advance and loan requests several times a month which were signed by Moss.

All three knew, according to the indictment, that pay advances to employees had a quarterly cap of $300 and employee loans were limited to a thousand.

In his court appearance Tuesday, Moss said he trusted his employees too much and admitted he turned a blind eye to what they were doing.

With contributions from The Associated Press

Ex-head of Wyo. tribal agency faces sentencing, as broadcast in Noon News Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011

By The Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A former executive director of the Northern Arapaho tribe’s Department of Social Services is scheduled to be sentenced today by a federal judge.

George Moss, who pleaded guilty this summer to embezzlement of tribal funds, is set to be sentenced this morning before U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson in Cheyenne.

Federal prosecutors charged Moss with improperly approving requests by two former employees for $135,000 in pay advances or loans from 2005 to 2006. The other two employees also have been convicted.

The Northern Arapaho Business Council, which manages tribal affairs, has written to Johnson expressing support for Moss. He faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

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3 Comments

Comment by sofaspud
2011-12-01 16:52:55

My only question: Who replaced him?

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Comment by sofaspud
2011-12-06 12:45:50

I guess loose dogs are a more important topic these days.

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Comment by sofaspud
2011-12-12 16:29:50

Looks like we might actually move off the dog story.

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