Former President of Tonkawa Tribe Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Conspiracy to Embezzle Tribal Funds
Ordered to Pay $794,000 in Restitution to Tribe
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 06, 2012|
OKLAHOMA CITY—Today, ANTHONY E. STREET, 48, of Tonkawa, Oklahoma, was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison for a conspiracy to embezzle funds from the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Street was the elected president of the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma from April 2005 until April 2008. During that same time, Gordon L. Warrior served as the tribe’s elected vice-president, and Dawena Pappan was elected as the tribe’s secretary-treasurer. Together, the three made up the tribe’s business committee and handled the tribe’s day-to-day affairs.
On October 18, 2011, a federal grand jury indicted Street for conspiring with Warrior and Pappan to embezzle money from the tribe from 2005 through 2008. It was alleged that Street, Warrior, and Pappan together embezzled more than $500,000 from the tribe’s general fund by issuing themselves more than 300 checks while in office. The indictment alleged that soon after taking office in 2005, Street, Warrior, and Pappan began writing checks to themselves from the tribe’s general fund for their personal use. The general fund account included proceeds from the tribe’s casinos. These checks from the general fund were in addition to the salaries paid by the tribe to the business committee members.
On June 4, 2012, Street pled guilty to one count of conspiring to embezzle tribal funds and admitted that he began diverting money from the tribe with Warrior and Pappan around May of 2005. Street further admitted that over the next three years in office, the business committee wrote themselves dozens of checks from the tribe’s general fund account, and the checks were mostly for their personal benefit.
At today’s sentencing, United States District Judge Robin Cauthron sentenced Street to 41 months of federal imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. Street was also ordered to pay restitution to the tribe in the amount of $794,904.13. Street must report to federal prison on October 5, 2012.
Warrior and Pappan previously pled guilty in separate federal cases to embezzling casino proceeds from the tribe for their personal use. On June 20, 2012, Warrior and Pappan were each sentenced to five-year terms of probation and ordered to pay more than $598,000 in restitution to the tribe.
These cases are the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris M. Stephens.