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Gila River Indian Community Members Indicted for Embezzlement from a Tribal Organization

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Two members of the Gila River Indian Community are accused of embezzling more than $32,000 from the tribal enterprise the Lone Butte Industrial Development Corporation. Each could face five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona.

Franklin Joseph Jackson, Sr., 62, of Bapchule, Arizona, and Lloyd Notah, Jr., 63, of Sacaton, Arizona, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Phoenix on separate counts of Embezzlement From a Tribal Organization.

From September 15, 2007 through March 4, 2009, Jackson served as a board member on the Lone Butte Industrial Development Corporation. During that time, he allegedly embezzled nearly $17,000 that belonged to the tribal organization, stated his indictment.

Notah is accused of pocketing more than $15,000 as well as filing fraudulent expense and stipend claims, while serving as a board member from September 26, 2007 to March 7, 2009.

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The development corporation aims to attract businesses to the Lone Butte area located in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

"The people of the Gila River Indian Community put their trust in these defendants, and that trust was violated," U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke said in a statement. "This office will not tolerate corruption and self-dealing at any level of government service. We and our partners at the FBI will continue to aggressively combat public corruption wherever it exists."