The Guardians Project provides grant administration training to Montana communities
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that the Guardians Project, a task force to fight federal program fraud, is providing grant administration training to Montana’s Native American community and will be in Harlem on Nov. 19.
The Harlem training will start at 10 a.m. in the Planning Department Conference Room. The session is open to the public.
The Guardians Project joins federal agencies together to prosecute those attempting to take federal funds for private gain. The agencies include the U.S. Attorney’s Office, several Offices of Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.
Since 2013, the project has resulted in more than 100 felony convictions, more than $15 million in restitution, more than $3.5 million in fines and a $1 million civil judgment. Prosecuted crimes include conspiracy, bribery, fraud, embezzlement, extortion, obstruction of justice, money laundering, blackmail, and tax evasion.
The Guardians Project is reaching out to the communities to train individuals working with federal grants and funding. These trainings are presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon, and Christopher Wood, a special agent with the Department of Interior, Office of Inspector General.
In the past several months, trainings have been provided in Browning, Poplar, Box Elder, Lame Deer, Crow Agency and Harlem.
U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme said, “We are committed to ensuring that federal funds are used for their intended purpose for the benefit of all of the intended recipients. However, we want to ensure that those who work with federal grants are trained on how to handle them correctly, and those who discover misuse know how to report such misuse and be protected under whistleblower statutes.”
“When misuses are discovered, they will continue to be investigated by the Guardians Project and prosecuted by our office,” Alme said.