News and Press Releases

Spirit Lake Tribal Member Sentenced for Embezzlement

May 25, 2012

FARGO - U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on May 25, 2012,William Kazena, 68, of Fort Totten, N.D., was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson on a charge of conspiracy to embezzle from an Indian Tribal organization.

On Jan. 11, 2012, Kazena, as part of the conspiracy, pleaded guilty to illegally accepting benefits from the Spirit Lake Vocational Rehabilitation Program, which he acknowledged he was not entitled to receive. Kazena’s wife, Martina, was the director of the program and his daughter, Tanya Jetty, was the compliance officer. Martina Kazena pleaded guilty to the conspiracy on Jan. 11, 2012, and will be sentenced on July 23, 2012. Tanya Jetty pleaded guilty to the conspiracy on May 8, 2012, and will be sentenced on
Aug. 27, 2012.

Judge Erickson sentenced Kazena to four years of probation. Kazena was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $22,349.63 to the U.S. Department of Education and to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim's Fund.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Education - Office of Inspector General.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Janice M. Morley and Bret Shasky prosecuted the case.


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