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Press Release

Former Oglala Sioux Tribe President Indicted for Wire Fraud and Embezzlement

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

RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a federal grand jury has indicted a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man on six counts of Wire Fraud, one count of Larceny, and one count of Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.

Julian Bear Runner, age 37, was indicted in September of 2022. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollman on February 24, 2023, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

Between 2019 and 2020, at Pine Ridge, Bear Runner, while acting in his capacity as President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, fraudulently submitted travel vouchers for official business travel and received payment for travel that he did not take.

The charges are merely accusations and Bear Runner is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson is prosecuting the case. 

Bear Runner was remanded to the custody of the US Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has been scheduled for May 2, 2023.


Updated February 27, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Financial Fraud