Former Pueblo leader accused of embezzling $3.6M from tribes

Bruce Sanchez, a former governor of Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico, has been indicted on federal conspiracy, embezzlement and taxation charges.

Sanchez was the president and chief executive of the Indian Pueblos Federal Development Corp. from 2003 until 2010. During that time, authorities say he conspired with real estate broker Thomas Keesing to embezzle $3.6 million from New Mexico's 19 Pueblo tribes.

Sanchez used the tribes' money to pay padded invoices to Keesing's firm, federal prosecutors said. In exchange, he received $1.7 million in kickbacks and filed fraudulent tax returns, according to the indictment.

“It is the desire of the 19 Pueblos to see that all questionable activities surrounding these issues be properly addressed and that justice be served,” Mike Canfield, the current president and CEO of IPFDC, told The Albuquerque Journal.

Get the Story:
Feds: Former pueblo governor embezzled $3.6M (KRQE-TV 10/2)
Former Santa Ana Pueblo governor, developer accused of embezzlement (AP 10/2)
Sanchez, Keesing indicted on embezzlement charges (New Mexico Business Weekly 10/2)
Santa Fe-area developer faces embezzlement charges (The Santa Fe New Mexican 10/3)
Two Indicted In Realty Scam (The Albuquerque Journal 10/3)