Home Minneapolis Press Releases 2012 Last of 11 Defendants Sentenced for Theft and Embezzlement from an Indian Tribal Organization

Last of 11 Defendants Sentenced for Theft and Embezzlement from an Indian Tribal Organization

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 21, 2012
  • District of North Dakota (701) 297-7400

FARGO—U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on November 21, 2012, Tanya Jetty of St. Michael, North Dakota, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson on charges, in two separate cases, of conspiracy to embezzle from an Indian Tribal organization, embezzlement and theft from an Indian Tribal organization, and false statements.

Judge Erickson sentenced Jetty to three months at a residential re-entry center and seven months of electronic home monitoring to be followed by three years of supervised release. Jetty was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $95,328.14 and to pay a $300 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund. Jetty pleaded guilty to the charges on May 8, 2012.

Jetty was the compliance officer for the Spirit Lake Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Voc-Rehab) from January 1998 to May 2011. During this time, Ms. Jetty knowingly allowed greater than $1,000 of Voc-Rehab funds to be illegally misapplied to personally benefit herself and other family members.

Ms. Jetty also submitted an application for fuel assistance to the Spirit Lake Tribe’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for benefits during the heating season of October 2008 to May 2010 and knowingly failed to include the total income earned by the occupants of her household. The LIHEAP benefits are determined based upon the size of the household and income earned by the occupants of the household. Ms. Jetty’s failure to include all income from her household was intended to make Ms. Jetty illegally eligible to receive benefits that she would otherwise have been ineligible to receive.

The investigation into alleged public corruption in the Spirit Lake Voc-Rehab and LIHEAP programs has produced the federal conviction of 11 other individuals, including Jetty’s husband, mother, father, and two former tribal council members.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Education-Office of Inspector General.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Janice M. Morley and Brett Shasky prosecuted the case.