Former Tribal Chairman Sentenced to Probation
2015-09-16Amen Sheridan, 54, of Walthill, Nebraska, was sentenced in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, for the felony offense of being an accessory to theft from an Indian Tribal Organization. The Honorable Laurie Smith Camp, Chief United States District Court Judge, sentenced Sheridan to a two-year term of probation and a $100 fine.
Sheridan was the Chairman of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. During his tenure, the Omaha Tribe offered payment assistance grants to financially eligible first-time home buyers. Sheridan was neither a first-time home buyer or financially eligible for the payment assistance. The payment assistance program was administered by Sheridan’s significant other Julia Whiteskunk.
Whiteskunk and Sheridan purchased a home in Walthill, Nebraska. Whiteskunk prepared a false application for payment assistance to the Omaha Tribal Housing Authority. Both signed the document. The document was approved by a subordinate rather than being submitted to a committee. The Housing Authority provided $4,000 in payment assistance. Sheridan has made restitution in the sum of $4,000.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg observed that in this prosecution, it was not the amount of the loss deserving federal attention and a felony conviction, but the abuse of authority and trust by a Tribal Chairman at the expense of those who elected him.