News and Press Releases

St. Michael Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Theft and Embezzlement Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2012

FARGO - U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on May 8, 2012,Tanya Jetty of St. Michael, N.D., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to charges, in two separate cases, of conspiracy to embezzle from an Indian Tribal organization, embezzlement and theft from an Indian Tribal organization, and false statements.

Jetty, 38, was the compliance officer for the Spirit Lake Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Voc-Rehab) from January 1998 to May 2011. During this time, Ms. Jetty knowingly allowed greater than $1,000 of Voc-Rehab funds to be illegally misapplied to personally benefit herself and other family members.

Ms. Jetty also submitted an application for fuel assistance to the Spirit Lake Tribe’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for benefits during the heating season of October 2008 to May 2010 and knowingly failed to include the total income earned by the occupants of her household. The LIHEAP benefits are determined based upon the size of the household and income earned by the occupants of the household. Ms. Jetty’s failure to include all income from her household was intended to
make Ms. Jetty illegally eligible to receive benefits that she would otherwise have been ineligible to receive.

The investigation into alleged public corruption in the Spirit Lake Voc-Rehab program has produced the federal conviction of seven individuals. The investigation into alleged public corruption in the Spirit Lake LIHEAP program has produced the federal conviction of seven individuals, including two former tribal council members.

Ms. Jetty is facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sentencing for Jetty has been scheduled for Aug. 27, 2012, in U.S. District Court in Grand Forks, N.D., at 1:30 p.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Janice M. Morley and Brett Shasky are prosecuting the cases.

 

 

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