Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Former Treasurer of the Crow Creek District Business Committee Sentenced on Embezzlement Charges

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of The Guardians Project, a Federal Law Enforcement Initiative to Combat Corruption, Fraud, and Abuse in South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced today that a former treasurer of the Crow Creek District Business Committee was sentenced in federal court on December 13, 2018, in Pierre, South Dakota.  Lana Steele, former treasurer of the Crow Creek District Business Committee, was sentenced for Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.

Lana Steele, Age 53, of Chamberlain, South Dakota, was sentenced to 4 years of probation, $11,500 in restitution, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $25.

Between November 2013 and November 2015, Steele willfully and knowingly embezzled, misapplied, and converted to her own use, monies, funds, credits, goods, assets, and other property belonging to the Crow Creek District Business Committee, an Indian Tribal Organization.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.

The case was brought pursuant to The Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities.  The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include: Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspector Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (605) 330-4400.  To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.

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