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FORMER DIRECTOR OF ROCKY BOY’S WELLNESS CENTER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR EMBEZZLMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 28, 2014

The United States Attorney's Office announced that Wilbur Harlan "Huck" Sunchild, 49, of Box Elder, Montana, was sentenced to one year in prison, two years supervised release, a special assessment of $100, and restitution of $19,735.77 during a federal court hearing in Great Falls, Montana, on July 24, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris.

Sunchild was sentenced after a jury convicted him on all three counts of embezzlement from the Rocky Boy's Wellness Center. At trial, Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan G. Weldon and Jessica A. Betley proved that Sunchild created a secretive account at Native American Bank. Sunchild then diverted over $26,000 in funds for the Rocky Boy's Wellness Center to his own personal use, including gambling. Over the course of a three-month period, the account was drained. Bank records reflected that Sunchild withdrew the funds from numerous casinos in Havre, Chinook, and Great Falls. At sentencing, the government stated, "Sunchild's conduct was intentional, deceitful, and it is not his first time attempting to steal money from others for his own benefit."

Montana U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter stated, "This prosecution addresses and underscores the harm that is done to a community when individuals decide to misuse and abuse grant money. The United States Attorney's Office is committed to ensuring federal and tribal money is protected so that it can be applied to the communities it was intended to serve."

Gerald T. Roy, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG-HHS) stated, "Our office will continue to aggressively pursue those individuals who misuse HHS grant funds for their own personal benefit."

The District Court sentenced Sunchild to a year in federal prison, with two years of supervised release to follow. Because there is no parole in the federal system, the truth in sentencing guidelines mandate that Sunchild will serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SUNCHILD does have the opportunity to shorten the term of custody by earning credit for good behavior. However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

This case was investigated by OIG-HHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

 

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