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Press Release

Former Superintendent of Santee Community Schools Convicted of Theft of Government Money

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

United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Paul Sellon, age 63, of Hamburg, Iowa, was sentenced today in federal court in Lincoln for Theft of Government Money. Senior United States District Judge Richard G. Kopf sentenced Sellon to 24 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. Sellon will begin a 3-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison. Sellon was also ordered to pay $314,121.00 in restitution to the United States Department of Education.

Sellon was the Superintendent of Santee Community Schools on the Santee Sioux Nation Reservation in Santee, Nebraska from 2010 to 2014. Sellon’s duties as Superintendent included administering the development and maintenance of a positive educational program and recommending and implementing the school district’s professional development plan and staff training. Sellon caused Santee Community Schools to contract with an educational consulting business owned and operated by an associate of Sellon. This educational consultant was paid to provide services to the Santee Community Schools with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act School Improvement Grant. As a precondition to this educational consultant being hired by Santee Community Schools, Sellon informed the consultant that the consultant would have to pay Sellon a portion of the proceeds he would receive from the School Improvement Grant. From 2012 to 2013, Sellon received $314,121.00 of the School Improvement Grant funds as a result of this kickback arrangement.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated October 18, 2019

Financial Fraud
Indian Country Law and Justice