Former Omaha Tribal Council Member Sentenced
United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced today that former Omaha Tribal Council Member Doran Morris, Jr. (age 44), was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. for his conviction of one count of conversion and misapplication of funds of a health care benefit program in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 669. Morris was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. In addition, Morris was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $13,404.44 which was the amount he personally received.
According to the Indictment and Plea Agreements, the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska had filed Contract Disputes Act claims against the Indian Health Service, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. These claims were filed in 2005 and 2012, and concerned unpaid contract support costs covering the period of 1995-2011. The total amount of the claims was approximately $8.9 million. The Indictment alleges that the defendants converted and misapplied funds of a health care benefit program by paying and causing to be paid bonuses or incentives to themselves and several other tribal employees on account of the claim filings. These bonuses or incentives were paid in October of 2012 even though the claims against the Indian Health Service were not resolved and paid until late 2015. Funds used to pay the bonuses came from carryover funds from the fiscal year 2012 contract with IHS. These funds were supposed to be used for providing health care to members of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska through the Carl T. Curtis Health Education Center.
Previously, eight other former tribal council members and tribal employees were sentenced for their roles in this offense. All defendants charged in the Indictment have now been sentenced.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.