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Top sentence is year prison for embezzling $175,000 tribal funds

Submitted by Newsroom on January 11, 2012 – 11:48 am6 Comments

RIVERTON, Wyo. –

The final sentencing is now in for the embezzlement case involving the Wind River Reservation’s Northern Arapaho Tribe’s social services department.  Two of the three people involved in the theft of $175,000 of federal funds will go to prison for the crime.

For a crime that carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, 33-year-old Amanda Addison received a year and 65-year-old Melody St. Clair five months. The third person, George Moss, also 65 at the time of sentencing, was placed on three years of probation.

The court did not order restitution for Moss and St. Clair because of requests from the Northern Arapaho Business Council. For Addison, after ruling restitution mandatory during sentencing, the court withdrew the order. According to court documents, the Northern Arapaho Business Council has applied $180,000 of non-federal discretionary funds to repay its social services department to assure that federal funding would not be taken away from the programs.

However, also, according to court records, the two women who embezzled the money kept it for themselves and split it. Moss did not take any. He apologized for his role in the theft, during court proceedings, and said he trusted St. Clair and Addison too much and turned what he called “a blind eye.”

Moss was the director of the Northern Arapaho Department of Social Services where Addison served as payroll clerk and St. Clair’s job was to manage and track the agency’s money. According to court documents, the two women stole the money within a year’s time, from 2005-2006, by siphoning it from accounts by a few hundred up to a couple thousand dollars at a time. They’d submit advance and loan requests several times a month, which were then signed by Moss. All three, according to the indictment, knew that pay advances to employees had a quarterly cap of $300 and employee loans were limited to a thousand.

The case was tried in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne, with Judge Alan B. Johnson presiding.

With contributions from The Associated Press

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6 Comments

Comment by farthestnorth
2012-01-11 19:30:26

WoW..this REALLY sux!! wrong is wrong no matter who or why, these people should have to pay the SAME consequences as anyone else, this is shameful and embarrassing to me, these are seeds of stereotyping and prejiduce that we continue to allow our leaders to plant, to be harvested by our following generations. It is hope being smothered!!

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Comment by sofaspud
2012-01-11 20:37:08

I can’t figure out why anyone is surprised. The more things change, the more they stay the same. My guess is all three will be working for the tribe again at some point in the future. Sets a good example though don’t ya think. Steal from the people who need it most, serve a little time, and ya don’t have to pay a dime back to the tribe. Smoke another one ABC.

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Comment by wantchange
2012-01-12 16:59:28

I say the same thing…wow…really!! I wonder why addison got a harsher sentence, after all, Mr. George Moss was the director, was it not his job to verify want he was signing off checks for? Ms. Melody St.Clair had way to much power!
and now for the tribe to pay the money back? I have to ask myself as well., As I remember Mr. Moss always talking about Presidence, I ask Mr. Moss you set a hell of a presidence now did you not?
That money was for the Arapaho people that needed the assistance, not for the employees!!!!

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Comment by 4realman
2012-01-13 11:58:29

I DONT RESPECT LIBERAL JUDGES!

Mr. Moss was taken advantage of. The other two flat knew what they were doing. I dont pitty them.

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Comment by sofaspud
2012-01-19 14:13:20

Why isn’t Melody in prison serving her sentence yet? Still see her running around the rez.

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Comment by Narapaho57
2012-01-28 11:32:31

OMG OMG

What about the FRACKING going on??? What about the polluted ground water out at Pavillion???

I say ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SUIT / WATER RIGHTS LAW SUIT

This way we have the $$$$$ to pay for the next embezzlers.

What better way to advocate for the young and have the $$$$$

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