Former Accounting Manager Pleads Guilty To Stealing From Chickasaw Nation
Defendant Pleads Guilty To Theft Between $225,000 And $550,000
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Christopher Wallace Covington, age 41, of Ada, Oklahoma, entered a guilty plea to an Information charging him with one count of Theft Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A). The offense is punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, or both.
The Information alleged that from January 6, 2017 to May 11, 2021, the defendant, an accounting manager within the Chickasaw Nation Department of Treasury, Division of Headquarters Finance, stole and obtained by fraud more than $225,000.00 and less than $550,000.00 from the Chickasaw Nation. The defendant redirected funds from the Chickasaw Nation’s General Fund bank account to his personal Coinbase.com account. The Chickasaw Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribal government and organization which receives federal benefits and assistance.
The charges arose from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Honorable Jason A. Robertson, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report. The defendant was released on a personal recognizance appearance bond pending formal sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron McEwen represented the United States.