News and Press Releases

Jason Tallbull Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on August 12, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JASON TALLBULL, a 28-year-old resident of Lame Deer, pled guilty to theft from an Indian tribal organization. Sentencing is set for November 11, 2009. He is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

The Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe is an Indian tribal organization. In 2007, TALLBULL was a payroll technician with the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Administration office. Prior to his theft, TALLBULL was demoted for accessing a computer system he was not authorized to use.

Beginning on April 6, 2007 and continuing until October 1, 2007, TALLBULL wrote himself six checks from the payroll and federal program accounts of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Generally, TALLBULL'S wages were paid to him through direct deposit into his account. The six checks he wrote to himself were physical checks in addition to the direct deposits which then duplicated his wages. Most of the checks contained forged signatures. TALLBULL was not authorized to write the checks. In addition to the six checks, he inflated two of his direct deposits. TALLBULL was not entitled to any of those additional funds.

Through these additional checks and inflated direct deposits, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe determined TALLBULL stole the following funds:

  • /06/07: Direct Deposit $600.45
  • /18/07: Direct Deposit $780.00
  • /01/07: Payroll Check 10948 $1,130.44
  • /13/07: Payroll Check 10024 $940.00
  • /31/07: Fed. Programs #3, Check 20956 $900.00
  • /31/07: Fed. Programs #3, Check 21092 $1,250.00
  • /21/07: Payroll Check 104075 $790.86
  • /01/07: Fed. Programs #3, Check 22095 $995.00
  • tal: $7,386.75

TALLBULL'S supervisor asked TALLBULL to explain his behavior. TALLBULL confessed his actions to his supervisor. On a later date, TALLBULL was interviewed by law enforcement and confessed his theft to the agent.

During his meeting with his supervisor, TALLBULL agreed that his last pay check and his accrued leave could be kept by the tribe to pay off part of his debt. His last pay check totaled $463.35. His unpaid accrued leave totaled $618.50. The two amounts totaled $1,081.85.

After applying the moneys retained by the tribe, TALLBULL is still indebted to Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe in the amount of $6,304.90.

TALLBULL faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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