BIA officer convicted in corruption trial

Great Falls, Montana (AP) July 2011

A Bureau of Indian Affairs officer on the Fort Peck Reservation has been convicted of corruption charges related to embezzlement from the tribe’s loan program, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Florence White Eagle, 63, was found guilty of conspiracy, theft from a tribal organization, bribery, concealment of public corruption and misprision of a felony in a jury trial that ended  in Great Falls. Sentencing is set for Oct. 27.

Prosecutors alleged White Eagle, as BIA superintendent, took out a $15,000 loan from the Fort Peck credit program while helping co-conspirator and former supervisory credit manager Toni Greybull to suppress a complaint by Greybull’s mother that fraudulent loans had been taken out in her name. Greybull passed away in March 2008.

White Eagle also was convicted of facilitating the repayment of other fraudulent loans so earlier fraudulent loans would not be discovered.

White Eagle is one of 10 people convicted in the scheme that ran from August 1999 through May 2009.

She was suspended with pay as BIA superintendent when she was indicted in March. BIA regional director Ed Parisian of Billings was traveling and was not available for comment on White Eagle’s status with the agency.