Ninth Circuit Partially Reverses Conviction for Theft from Fort Peck Tribe

Here is the opinion in United States v. White Eagle.

The court’s summary:

The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part a criminal judgment in a case arising out of the involvement by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Superintendent at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in a scheme to obtain money from a tribal credit program.

Reversing convictions on counts charging conspiracy to convert tribal credit program proceeds (18 U.S.C. § 371) and theft and conversion from an Indian Tribal Organization (18 U.S.C. §§ 1163, 2), the panel held that the government’s misapplication theory, predicated at best on an employer directive and a civil regulation, cannot support a conviction; and that the government’s embezzlement and conversion theories also fail because the defendant never controlled or had custody of the funds that she later borrowed.

Affirming a bribery conviction (18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2)), the panel held that a jury could easily infer a quid pro quo and had ample evidence to conclude that the defendant’s actions were “corrupt.”

Because the government did not show that the defendant violated a specific duty to report credit program fraud, the panel reversed her conviction of concealment of public corruption (18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(1)).

And the briefs:

White Eagle Opening Brief

US Answer Brief

White Eagle Reply Brief

U.S. v. Janis — CA8 Affirms Conviction for Embezzlement from Tribe

Here is the opinion in United States v. Janis, affirming a conviction under 18 USC 1163 for embezzling funds from an Indian tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe — us-v-janis-ca8-opinion