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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 2, 2017

Two Former Directors of Rosebud Tribal Ranch Appear in Federal Court on Embezzlement Charges

Defendants Prosecuted as Part of the Guardians Project, a Federal Law Enforcement Initiative to Combat Corruption, Fraud, and Abuse in South Dakota

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that two former directors of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Tribal Ranch appeared in federal court on September 26, 2017, in Pierre, South Dakota, with one defendant pleading guilty at his initial appearance.  Patricia Elaine Jones and Stormy Halligan, both former directors of the Rosebud Tribal Ranch, were separately charged with Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization. 

Patricia Elaine Jones, 65, of Rosebud, South Dakota, appeared in federal court on the indictment charging her with one count of embezzlement.  The maximum term of imprisonment upon conviction is up to 5 years, a $250,000 fine, or both, a period of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

According to the indictment filed against Jones, between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, Jones willfully and knowingly embezzled, misapplied, and converted to her own use more than $1,000 of monies, funds, credits, goods, assets, and other property belonging to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Tribal Ranch, an Indian Tribal Organization.

During his initial appearance, Stormy Halligan, 42, of Winner, South Dakota, entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno.  Halligan faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 1 year, a $100,000 fine, or both, a period of 1 year of supervised release, and a special assessment of $25 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution will also be ordered.

According to Halligan’s plea agreement, between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, he willfully and knowingly embezzled, misapplied, and converted to his own use monies, funds, credits, goods, assets, and other property belonging to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Tribal Ranch, an Indian Tribal Organization. Halligan pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor and has agreed to pay restitution.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Interior, Office of Inspector General.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri is prosecuting the case.

The case was brought pursuant to The Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities.  The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include:  Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspector Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (605)330-4400.  To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Updated October 2, 2017