SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - The last of six former Crow Creek Sioux Tribe councilmembers has pleaded guilty to embezzling funds.
Brandon Sazue, former tribal chairman, pleaded guilty Wednesday to embezzlement and theft charges.
“Crow Creek citizens need to know that their government works and that theft and embezzlement will not be tolerated. This case should go a long way toward restoring that confidence,” U.S. Attorney Parsons said in a release.
According to the indictment, in about March 2014 through February 2019, Roland Robert Hawk, Sr., Francine Maria Middletent, Roxanne Lynette Sazue, Jacquelyn Ernestine Pease, and Brandon Sazue embezzled, stole, willfully misapplied, willfully permitted to misapplied, and converted to their own use more than $1,000 of funds, credit, goods, assets, and other property belonging to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe.
Hawk served as the elected treasurer of the tribe, Roxanne Sazue was also chair, and Middletent and Grey Owl were elected councilpersons.
When not serving in their respective leadership positions, all defendants, except for Brandon Sazue, worked for Hawk in the tribe’s finance office and had access and opportunity to the funds that were embezzled from the tribe.
Sentencing is pending. Each defendant could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.