Allen Joseph Lamere Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls on March 23, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, ALLEN JOSEPH LAMERE, a 33-year-old resident of Box Elder, pled guilty to theft from an Indian tribal organization receiving federal funding. Sentencing has been set for June 28, 2010. He is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebekah J. French, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In January of 2009, the Superintendent of the Rocky Boy's Schools (School Districts 87 J&L) noticed that the Schools' most recent American Express Business Card statement was missing a number of pages. He asked the Accounts Payable Clerk for all other credit card statements for this card. She was only able to provide him with three statements, all of which had been paid without his authorization. When the Superintendent asked why these statements had not been presented to him for review, the Accounts Payable Clerk explained that she was following the direction of the District Clerk which was LAMERE. The Superintendent contacted American Express, which refused to provide him with copies of the missing credit card statements without LAMERE's authorization, as LAMERE's name was on the cards. In reviewing the limited number of statements he was able to obtain for the American Express cards issued to LAMERE on behalf of Rocky Boy's Schools, the Superintendent noticed a number of unauthorized charges not related to school travel or business.
In February, the Superintendent learned that LAMERE had obtained an additional business credit card from Wells Fargo Bank in Havre. The card was issued to LAMERE, on behalf of Rocky Boy's Schools, and payment was made by the Hill County Treasurer, from money belonging to the High School and Elementary Fund. Wells Fargo sent the Superintended an electronic copy of the first statement for the credit card issued to LAMERE. In reviewing that statement, the Superintendent noticed a number of unauthorized charges not related to school travel or business. He also learned that a warrant, drawn on the Rocky Boy's School Account, had been issued on March 22, 2009 - a Sunday.
The Superintendent prepared a spreadsheet detailing LAMERE's unauthorized personal charges on three separate accounts issued in his name on behalf of Rocky Boy's Schools. The School Superintendent used credit card statements to prepare the spreadsheet. According to the spreadsheet, charges totaled $24,887.72. These charges were made between November 10, 2007, and March 17, 2009.
When questioned, LAMERE admitted that he had misused his Rocky Boy's Schools' credit cards. He knew that the cards were to be used only for authorized purchases and not for personal use. He admitted using the cards for personal purchases for himself, friends, and family members. LAMERE reviewed the spreadsheet prepared by the Superintendent and admitted having made all the purchases listed on the spread sheet. He identified five transactions that he believed were used for official business, which he thought either were or should have been authorized. He admitted that all the other transactions listed on the spreadsheet were not authorized, and agreed to pay restitution for those charges.
LAMERE faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 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.