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United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Martin, South Dakota, woman convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Theft Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds was sentenced on May 6, 2014, by Jeffrey L. Viken, Chief U.S. District Judge.
Samone Darla Milk, age 32, was sentenced to 14 months in custody, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to make restitution of $109,135.
Milk was indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Theft Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds and two counts of Theft Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds by a federal grand jury on October 8, 2013. She pled guilty to the conspiracy charge on January 3, 2014, and the other charges were dismissed.
From May 2009 through December 2009, Milk formed an agreement with others to steal funds belonging to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Milk was the executive secretary for the Tribe’s Energy/Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP.) In her capacity as executive secretary, Milk and others drafted fake invoices and quotes for contract work purportedly to be completed by co-conspirators. Milk facilitated the processing of these documents through the Energy/LIHEAP program. In turn, checks were issued by the Tribe’s Treasurer’s Office to pay for the fraudulent invoices. Milk and her co-conspirators received the checks, cashed them, and divided the funds among themselves to use for their own purposes.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.
Milk was ordered to turn herself in to the U.S. Marshals Service on or before May 22, 2014.