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Man sentenced for theft from tribal loan program

Great Falls, Montana (AP) November 2010
 
A former federal employee who pleaded guilty to stealing from a Fort Peck tribal loan program has been sentenced.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that Paul James Bemer was sentenced last week to three years and one month in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. He also must pay back $58,355.

The 42-year-old, who was a Bureau of Indian Affairs loan assistant, was one of six people charged in the scheme that ran for about 10 years until May 2009 and netted more than $1 million. The defendants were accused of trying to hide the thefts by altering computer data and replacing their names on loans with names of dead tribal members.

All six entered deals in which they pleaded guilty to theft, conspiracy and obstruction charges. Bemer was found to have received $49,733 from the credit department’s checking account between May 2004 and January 2009.



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