David Michael Rosebud Mathison Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls on November 17, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, DAVID MICHAEL ROSEBUD MATHISON, a 33-year-old resident of Poplar, pled guilty to bank fraud. Sentencing is set for February 22, 2010. He is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
The Poplar Community Organization is a non-profit service organization serving the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The organization raises funds through bake sales, raffles, and other means and then distributes the proceeds to needy Indian families for food, clothing, and provides Indian youth and senior citizen activities for community members. The business affairs are governed by a volunteer board of directors who select a president, treasurer and secretary to manage the day-to-day operations. The organization has a bank account with a local bank, Independence Bank, and the signatures of two officers are required to withdraw funds or make payments to third parties.
On June 15, 2009, MATHISON, who was president of the organization, went to Independence Bank and told a teller that the secretary was ill and could not come to the bank herself to request additional checks for the Poplar Community Organization. He left the bank with ten "counter-checks" (blank checks prepared by the bank) only to return that afternoon with a completed $6,000 check purportedly co-signed by the secretary. MATHISON explained that the Poplar Community Organization needed the money in cash to obtain supplies for Wild West Days, a Poplar community event. The bank gave MATHISON $6,000 in cash.
When the secretary went to the bank the following day, she discovered that the balance on the account was significantly lower than what had been in the account. Upon investigation, it was discovered that her signature had been forged. Her last name was spelled without a "d," and the signature clearly did not correspond to the signature on file at the bank.
An investigation revealed that MATHISON had fraudulently filled out the check and forged the endorsement of the secretary to transact the check. MATHISON stated that he needed the money for travel to Minneapolis where he wanted to enroll in bartending school and embark on a new career. MATHISON told investigators that life in Poplar and his association with the Poplar Community Organization was too overwhelming for him and that he decided he needed to get out. He had hitch-hiked to Wolf Point where he caught the train to Minneapolis. MATHISON further stated that he had been robbed in Minneapolis and that the money was gone.
MATHISON faces possible penalties of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.