Choctaw Nation Executive Director of Construction Administration Arraigned on Charges of Theft, Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, and Tax Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 06, 2014|
MUSKOGEE, OK—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that JASON BRETT MERIDA, age 41, of Rattan, Oklahoma, was arraigned in federal court on March 6, 2014.
The defendant is charged with conspiracy to commit theft or bribery of programs receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; theft by an employee or officer of a tribal government receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A) and 2; conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957 and tax fraud, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1).
The charges are a result from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigative Services.
The Honorable Steven P. Shreder, Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. The defendant was released on a $10,000 unsecure bond.
The statutory range of punishment for conspiracy is up to five years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine. Theft by an employee or officer of a tribal government receiving federal funds and conspiracy to commit money laundering are both punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine, and tax fraud is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment and/or up to a $250,000 fine.
First Assistant United States Attorney Douglas Horn and Assistant United States Attorney Chris Wilson represented the United States.
“The above named individuals have been charged with a federal crime or crimes by the return of an indictment by the grand jury. A grand jury indictment does not constitute evidence of guilt. A grand jury indictment is a method of bringing formal charges against the defendant. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and may not be found guilty unless evidence establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. United States Sentencing Guidelines may be considered, upon conviction, by the sentencing court. Federal prison sentences are non-parolable.