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Press Release

Martin Lloyd Old Horn Arraigned And Pleads Guilty In U.S. Federal Court

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

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on May 21, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, MARTIN LLOYD OLD HORN, a 22-year-old resident of Hardin, was arraigned and pled guilty to mail fraud - scheme to defraud or to obtain money or property by false promises. Sentencing has been set for September 10, 2013. He is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

The Crow Tribal Historic Preservation Office (CTHPO) Is a designated office of the Crow Indian Tribe that provides for direct Tribal involvement and leadership in the protection and enhancement of Crow lands and cultural resources. It serves to identify, inventory, and protect culturally, archeologically, and historically important resources both on and off the reservation.

Each year, the CTHPO receives grant funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. A requirement for any enterprise seeking to do work on the reservation that may disturb tribal lands - utilities, construction, energy exploration, development - is that the business employ the services of a CTHPO employee (archeological technician) to monitor the project to insure that lands of cultural or historic importance are not destroyed. The company is then charged for this monitoring service and payments are made to the Crow Tribe.

During the summers of 2010 and 2011, either before leaving for or while home from school at the University of Montana (UM), OLD HORN, at the urging and instigation of his mother and other family members, represented himself to be a monitor for the Crow Tribe Historical Preservation Office. He had no training for the position, had not been hired by the Crow Tribe to be a tribal monitor, and had no authority other than the direction of his family to engage in the business of being a tribal monitor.

During 2010, the evidence would have reflected that the invoices to companies for direct payment to OLD HORN, for his purported services, were submitted by his mother. During 2011, the time period alleged in the indictment, the evidence indicates that OLD HORN submitted invoices for his purported services directly. OLD HORN billed on an hourly basis and always billed for an entire day. The evidence would show that OLD HORN was usually in the company of his mother or cousin when on-site, that he made no logs or reports documenting his work or observations as required by legitimate monitoring standards, and that on numerous occasions he was not on site for the hours billed to the company. During the time period of the indictment - the two month period in the summer of 2011 - OLD HORN received $19,184.15 in compensation from companies doing business on the Crow Indian Reservation.

In addition, OLD HORN received an additional $24,477 when his mother submitted invoices on his behalf, for a total of $43,661 received on the basis of his billing for services as if a legitimate tribal monitor. The United States maintains that the fraudulent nature of the invoices remains the same whether submitted by OLD HORN or his mother. The United States and OLD HORN have stipulated to one-half of the total amount - $21,830 - as restitution and use in the fraud loss calculation based on the time and service that may have been legitimately rendered.

The companies made their payments to Martin OLD HORN through the U.S. Mail.

OLD HORN faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Interior - Office of Inspector General. # # # #

Updated January 14, 2015