Muscogee (Creek) Nation Second Chief Pleads Guilty to Embezzling from Tribe
TULSA, OK—Muscogee (Creek) Nation Second Chief Roger Dana Barnett, 53, of Bristow, pleaded guilty before United States District Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell to embezzling approximately $150,000 from the Tribe, announced U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Barnett was indicted on August 6, 2014.
Barnett admitted that, from April 2013 through April 2014, he embezzled more than $1,000 of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation funds from the Tribe’s Direct Assistance Fund, a tribal executive branch fund meant to aid tribal citizens in need.
The Government told the court it estimated the loss and restitution amounts to be approximately $211,000. The Government also told the court the direct assistance funds were embezzled by Barnett when he went to area casinos and withdrew the funds from ATMs. Barnett admitted he then used the money to gamble.
At the time of sentencing, Barnett faces the statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shannon Cozzoni and Trent Shores on behalf of the United States.