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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 28, 2022

Former Tribal Councilmember Sentenced to Federal Prison

Jackson, Miss. – A former tribal councilmember for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was sentenced to 84 months in prison for embezzlement, perjury, and suborning perjury, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to court documents, Kevin Joseph Edwards, 51, of the Standing Pine Community, embezzled $12,178.40 from the Tribe by submitting fraudulent travel documents for reimbursement.  Edwards was indicted for the embezzlement in February of 2019. Once indicted on the embezzlement, Edwards was released on bond. While on bond, Edwards possessed a firearm. A petition to revoke his bond was filed in federal court, and during a hearing conducted in the United States Magistrate Court, Edwards committed perjury and convinced another person to commit perjury on his behalf during the hearing.  

Edwards entered a plea of guilty to the embezzlement in February of 2021, and later pled guilty to the perjury charges in June of 2022.  As stated in court, Edwards admitted to embezzling funds from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and his role in committing and suborning perjury in federal court.

Edwards was sentenced to a prison term of 84 months, to be followed by a term of 36 months supervised release. Edwards was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $12,178.40. The sentencing took place in the Thad Cochran Federal Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi.

U.S. Attorney LaMarca commended the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who investigated the case. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin J. Payne.

 

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated October 28, 2022