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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Belcourt Pleads Guilty To Bribery And Embezzlement

The United States Attorney's Office announced that Tony James Belcourt, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Chippewa Cree Construction Corporation entered pleas today in four of the six indictments handed down by the Grand Jury charging him with wide-ranging public corruption. Belcourt is also a former member of the Chippewa Cree Tribal Business Council and a former member of the Montana State House of Representatives from Box Elder. Belcourt appeared before U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls to enter the guilty pleas.

Belcourt pled guilty to embezzlement in one count of United States v. Belcourt, et al, CR-13-39-GF-BMM which alleged the embezzlement of over $300,000, in the first half of 2010, using a pipe shipping contract that more than doubled the actual cost of shipping. Additional details can be found in the government's extensive Offer of Proof filed with the Court with that case number and accessible through PACER.

Belcourt also pled guilty to bribery in United States v. Belcourt, et al, CR-13-82-GF-BMM which alleged that in November 2009 he accepted a $100,000 payment from Hunter Burns Construction, a company awarded a $1.7 million construction contract four months after the payment to Belcourt. Additional details can be found in the government's Offer of Proof filed with the Court with that cause number and accessible through PACER.

In a separate hearing earlier in the day before Judge Morris, Hunter Burns and Hunter Burns Construction, LLC, each pled guilty to conspiracy to file false claims in United States v. Belcourt, et al, CR-13-99-GF-BMM which alleged that four months later, in April 2010, Hunter Burns Construction made a $100,000 false claim to the Chippewa Cree Construction Corporation and against federal project funds based on mobilization costs that had not been incurred. Additional details can be found in the government's Offer of Proof filed with the Court with that case number and accessible through PACER.

Belcourt also pled guilty to bribery in United States v. Belcourt, et al, CR-13-98-GF-BMM which alleged that he accepted a $300,000 payment from K & N Consulting, a company doing business with the Chippewa Cree Tribe after the floods of 2010. Belcourt served as the Tribe's Emergency Incident Commander and awarded insurance and FEMA contracts in connection with the recovery and reconstruction efforts after the flooding. Additional details can be found in the government's Offer of Proof filed with the Court and accessible through PACER.

Belcourt also pled guilty to bribery in United States v. Belcourt, CR-14-17-GF-BMM which alleged that Belcourt committed tax fraud in the filing of his 2009 tax return which failed to disclose $135,000 in income received by Belcourt and his wife that year. The Offer of Proof for case number CR-13-82 contains the details.

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Updated January 14, 2015