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Informational: Federal Court Arraignments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on May 7, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, the following individuals were arraigned:

TONY JAMES BELCOURT, age 41, HAILEY LEE BELCOURT, age 35, JOHN CHANCE HOULE, age 47, residents of Box Elder, and MARK T. LEISCHNER, age 46, and TAMMY KAY LEISCHNER, age 42, residents of Laurel, each appeared on charges of:

Count I: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States

Penalty: Five years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release)

Counts II-VI: Scheme to Defraud the United States and the Chippewa Cree Tribe/ Wire Fraud

Penalty: 20 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release)

Count VII: Theft of Federal Monies

Penalty: Ten years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release)

Count VIII: Theft from an Indian Tribal Government Receiving Federal Funding

Penalty: Ten years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release)

Count IX: RECEIPT OF STOLEN MONEY IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE

Penalty: Ten years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release)

Counts X-XVII: Money Laundering

Penalty: Ten years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release)

The defendants pled not guilty to the charges and are currently released on special conditions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad is the prosecutor for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Interior - Office of Inspector General, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It would be inappropriate to comment on the facts of this case at this stage of the proceedings. The judicial system will sort out the truth of the allegations and all defendants enjoy a presumption of innocence. However, today's indictment is the product of diligent work by the very dedicated agents of the Guardians Project. As the work of this team of skilled and highly trained professionals from the Offices of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation goes forward, the people of Montana can expect more cases - from every part of the state - outlined in lengthy, multi-defendant indictments alleging public corruption and embezzlement of federal funds. Their investigations address chronic and systemic financial assaults on federal grants and contracts. This office is committed to their mission." United States Attorney for the District of Montana, Michael W. Cotter.

The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and all persons named as defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set and the United States will be required to prove the allegations set forth in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

 

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