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Press Release

Picuris Pueblo Woman Sentenced to Probation for Embezzling $132,000 From Picuris Pueblo

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

ALBUQUERQUE –Norma Mermejo, 62, a member and resident of Picuris Pueblo, was sentenced this morning to five years of probation for her conviction on an embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal organization charge.  Mermejo also was ordered to pay $132,000 in restitution to Picuris Pueblo.

In Oct. 2012, Mermejo pleaded guilty to embezzling approximately $132,000 belonging to Picuris Pueblo between Feb. 2008 and April 2010.  At the time, Mermejo was employed as a file clerk in the Pueblo’s accounting office.  Picuris Pueblo terminated her employment in April 2010, when Pueblo officials learned of her unlawful activities.  During her plea hearing, Mermejo admitted embezzling an aggregate of $132,000 of funds belonging to Picuris Pueblo on 144 occasions during a two-year period.  She also admitted that she used the money to support her gambling habit and make ends meet with regard to such matters as utility bills.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.

Updated January 26, 2015