News and Press Releases

South Dakota Investigation Team Receives Award For Crow Creek Corruption Cases

December 8, 2010
Contact: Brendan V. Johnson
United States Attorney

The Department of Justice held its 27th annual Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) Director's Awards Ceremony today, during which 159 award recipients from more than 45 districts were recognized for their dedication to carrying out the mission of the Department of Justice. Among the award recipients were members of the investigation and prosecution team which handled a series of public corruption cases arising out of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. The members of the team include:

* Supervisory Assistant Untied States Attorney David Zuercher of Pierre, SD;

* Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy Jehangiri, formerly of Rapid City, SD;

* James Flanigan, Investigator, US Attorney’s Office, Sioux Falls, SD;

* Special Agent Daniel Reisig, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington DC; and

* Special Agent Anthony Hoben, Dept. of Interior, Office of Inspector General, Rapid City, SD.

"These award recipients have been honored for their service and dedication to our country, as well as to their local communities," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Each of these committed public servants has helped to advance the Justice Department's critical work. Their contributions have had a powerful impact in ensuring the strength of our justice system, the security of our communities, and the promise of our democracy."

The South Dakota team was cited for its exemplary efforts in investigating fraud and corruption following a 2005 fire which destroyed a portion of the Crow Creek Tribal School. The investigation revealed that tribal and school officials received bribes and kickbacks for awarding contracts during the rebuilding project. Ultimately, six tribal officials were convicted of corruption and witness retaliation charges. Five contractors and one architect were convicted of bribery-related offenses.

“Our prosecution team conducted a complex and challenging investigation which exposed this corruption and resulted in the conviction of those who violated the law,” United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson said. “I am very proud of them, and I believe their efforts will help ensure that federal money intended to assist Indian tribes is used to help tribal members, and not a selfish few.”

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