Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Former Apache Tribal Treasurer Convicted Of Embezzlement
Emily Anne Saupitty, 53, of Apache, Oklahoma, the former tribal treasurer for the Apache Tribe, was convicted last Friday on all 33 counts of embezzling tribal funds. Saupitty was elected in 1998 as Secretary-Treasurer of the Apache Tribe and later authorized to conduct transactions on behalf of the tribe. Without tribal authorization, she opened a bank account in early 2003 in the name of "Apache Tax Commission" and deposited at least 8 checks totalling $107,627.65 for oil & gas tax revenues, according to prosecutors, between 2003 and 2004. Saupitty was charged with the 33 counts in May 2008. She faces up to 5 years in prison, plus a fine of $250,000 and restitution upon sentencing.
Read the DOJ press release here.
This AP story suggests that the recent spate of tribal fraud cases is due to a lack of controls and greater law enforcement focus on corruption in the Indian community.