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Press Release

Former Finance Director of Pit River Tribe Indicted for Tax Evasion, Failure to File a Tax Return, and Theft from the Pit River Tribe

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kenley Black, 41, formerly of Burney, California, was arrested today at his home in Ft. Defiance, Arizona on charges of tax evasion, failure to file income taxes, and embezzlement and theft from a tribal organization, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

A federal grand jury returned a 25-count indictment on Thursday, March 24, 2016, against Kenley, who served as the the Finance Director for the Pit River Tribe from 2009 to 2013. Black is not a member of the Pit River Tribe.

According to court documents, while employed as Finance Director, Black earned over $810,000 yet did not file income taxes and evaded paying over $225,000 in taxes. He is charged with five counts of tax evasion and five counts of failure to file income taxes. Additionally, he is charged with 15 counts of embezzlement and theft from a tribal organization for embezzling $81,578 from the Pit River Tribe in 2012 and 2013.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Justin Lee is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Black faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $100,000 fine for each count of tax evasion. Additionally, Black faces up to one year in prison for each count of failure to file a tax return and up to five years in prison for each count of theft from a tribal organization. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 30, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 2:16-cr-062-JAM