indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Indian school development scheme backfires

Filed Under: Business | Law
More on: crime, native sun news, new mexico, pueblo
     

The following story was written and reported by Brandon Ecoffey, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.

Albuquerque Indian School land development scheme backfires
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Staff Writer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Former Santa Ana Pueblo Governor Bruce Sanchez was indicted by a federal grand jury in Albuquerque on Sept. 25.

The indictment alleges that Sanchez and real estate developer Thomas Keesing conspired to embezzle millions of dollars from the Indian Pueblos Federal Development Corp., which Sanchez, 58, was head of. The corporation had been formed by New Mexico’s 19 pueblo nations to develop land where the now-closed Albuquerque Indian School once existed.

The 15-count indictment charges both men with one count of conspiracy and 10 counts of embezzlement each. In addition, Sanchez has been charged with four separate tax offenses, according to an Associated Press report.

Sanchez’s attorney, Monica Garcia, denies that her client is guilty, telling KOAT-TV in Albuquerque that “(Sanchez) is not guilty of these charges, and we are going to fight them to the end.”

The indictment alleges that Keesing, 59, would submit false or inflated invoices to Sanchez, who would then approve them. According to the indictment, New Mexico Real Estate Inc., which is owned by Keesing, received a total of $3.77 million in payments from the Indian Pueblos Development Corp. from 2003 to 2009, at least $3.6 million of which was obtained under fraudulent pretenses.

In exchange for Sanchez’s approval of the bogus invoices, Keesing paid Sanchez and his consulting company $1.7 million in kickbacks.

Both men were arrested Oct. 2. Sanchez was arraigned on the afternoon of Oct. 2 and pleaded not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance, even though a federal judge called him a flight risk and a danger to his community, according to KOAT. Keesing also pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on his own recognizance Oct. 2.

Garcia responded to KOAT questioning by saying, “ … he is definitely not a flight risk because he has strong ties to the community and the state of New Mexico. He is not guilty of these (charges), and we will get to the bottom of it after a trial.”

In a statement, the Santa Ana Pueblo said that it “does not in any way condone the alleged actions of Bruce Sanchez or … Thomas Keesing and looks forward to justice being served.” The Santa Ana Pueblo community lies approximately 25 miles northeast of Albuquerque, near Bernalillo.

If convicted, both Sanchez and Keesing face up to five years’ imprisonment on each count.

(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at staffwriter2@nsweekly.com)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Rosebud Sioux Tribe sues Indian Health Service over shutdown (4/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves eight bills at meeting (4/28)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe to debut justice center (4/28)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne official fired from tribal job (4/28)
Native Sun News: Comments sought on Black Hills mine cleanup (4/28)
Editorial: Native Sun News endorses Hillary Clinton for president (4/28)
Cronkite News: EPA slammed for response to Gold King Mine spill (4/28)
Steve Russell: Donald Trump advisor accuses tribes of terror plot (4/28)
Alex Jacobs: Hillary Clinton must answer to role in Honduras coup (4/28)
Northwest tribes inch closer to reburial of Kennewick Man remains (4/28)
Santee Sioux Tribe hosts task force to address substance abuse (4/28)
Huge crowds flock to New Mexico for annual Gathering of Nations (4/28)
Muckleshoot Tribe to host $50K 'Gold Cup' for Indian relay racing (4/28)
Member of Puyallup Tribe develops 'Teepee' tribal directory app (4/28)
Man in long fight with Shingle Springs Band faces longer sentence (4/28)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe enters gaming agreement with Mohegan Tribe (4/28)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe sees casino as a path to self-sufficiency (4/28)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe announces another hire at casino (4/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomes rejection of rival casino bid (4/28)
Senate passes measure to include Indian Country in tourism plans (4/27)
Amanda Blackhorse to deliver commencement speech at Haskell (4/27)
Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe aims to stop pipeline (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge artist gains national recognition (4/27)
Brandon Ecoffey: 'Bull Dawg' represents the Oglala Lakota Nation (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Tribes endorse Native candidates for US Congress (4/27)
John Thune: Tribal citizens suffer with Indian Health Service care (4/27)
Cronkite News: Tribes support more protections at Grand Canyon (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: A moral responsibility to stop tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Vernice Moncooyea Willis: Bernie Sanders deserves our support (4/27)
Jennifer Denetdale: University must stop celebrating genocide (4/27)
Eastern Cherokee group hails Tribal Marijuana Sovereignty Act (4/27)
Leader of Fort Peck Tribes blames baby's death on drug abuse (4/27)
Chippewa Cree Tribe and FBI investigate theft of drugs at clinic (4/27)
Former comptroller of Crow Tribe accused of embezzling $28K (4/27)
Congress set to pass bill to declare bison as national mammal (4/27)
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton moving closer to nominations (4/27)
Fond du Lac Band won't confirm plan for site adjacent to casino (4/27)
Graton Rancheria on track to complete $175M casino expansion (4/27)
Pokagon Band to debut casino expansion project by end of year (4/27)
Connecticut tribes delay decision on potential casino until 2017 (4/27)
Oregon Lottery official fired as Lewis and Clark ads come down (4/27)
Still no answer from US Supreme Court in tribal jurisdiction case (4/26)
Pine Ridge man sentenced for burning down ex-partner's trailer (4/26)
Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative secures $190K grant (4/26)
Native Sun News: Bar seeks to build closer to sacred Bear Butte (4/26)
Lakota Country Times: Sacred site in limbo due to state appeal (4/26)
Vi Waln: Alcohol and drugs bring pain and suffering to children (4/26)
Ruth Hopkins: Kardashians glorify stereotypes of Native women (4/26)
Vernon Masayesva: Peabody can't leave Hopi Tribe with big mess (4/26)
Peter d'Errico: UN forum can't forget about Doctrine of Discovery (4/26)
Youth from Coushatta Tribe hail policy change for eagle feathers (4/26)
Washington team asks Supreme Court to hear trademark appeal (4/26)
Pit River Tribe claims victory in long-running sacred site dispute (4/26)
Lummi Nation expects answer on treaty challenge to coal project (4/26)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Army Corps to discuss oil pipeline (4/26)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.