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CRM 500-999

690. Embezzlement and Theft from Tribal Organization

Section 1163 of Title 18 makes embezzlement, theft, criminal conversion, and wilful misapplication of funds belonging to a tribal organization a crime. It is a felony if the amount taken exceeds $100, and is subject to imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years, a fine pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §  3571, or both. If less than $100 is involved, the maximum penalty is one year, and/or a fine under 18 U.S.C. § 3571. This statute applies to both Indians and non-Indians, and need not be committed in Indian country. The second paragraph of 18 U.S.C. § 1152 does not shield an Indian who has committed the offense on a reservation. See United States v. Markiewicz, 978 F.2d 786 (2d Cir. 1992); United States v. McGrady, 508 F.2d 13 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 420 U.S. 797 (1975). Neither is tribal sovereignty a shield against a grand jury investigation and subpoena. See United States v. Boggs, 439 F. Supp. 1050 (D.Mont. 1980). In addition, 18 U.S.C. §  666, which proscribes theft and embezzlement of more than $5000 from federally funded governmental and nongovernmental organizations by their agents, and bribery of, or acceptance of bribes by, their officials, was amended on November 10, 1986, to cover Indian tribes, overruling the decision in United States v. Barquin, 799 F.2d 619 (10th Cir. 1986).

[cited in JM 9-20.100]