indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Indian school development scheme backfires
Monday, October 15, 2012
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: Taking a trip down memory lane with Lakota Times (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe puts hold on ethics board (4/24)
Steven Newcomb: Gradual stealing of Western Shoshone land (4/24)
John Kane: Keystone battle is about Native identity and land (4/24)
Albert Bender: Cowboys and Indians unite to fight Keystone (4/24)
Joyce Oberly: Teach all sides of tribal land theft in Oklahoma (4/24)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Treating Native culture as a commodity (4/24)
Al Jazeera: Pascua Yaqui Tribe looks for justice under VAWA (4/24)
Northern Arapaho Tribe per cap stirs boost in local economy (4/24)
Navajo Nation Council fails to revive higher tax on junk foods (4/24)
Graton Rancheria defends decision to pave over historic site (4/24)
North Dakota commission backs power line opposed by tribes (4/24)
Former Cedarville Rancheria leader back in court for murders (4/24)
Florida court rejects tribal jurisdiction in child custody dispute (4/24)
South Dakota Tribal Relations Secretary to step down from job (4/24)
Yakama Nation sues to put a stop to tours on sacred mountain (4/24)
CSKT firm lands $1.8M contract to provide military equipment (4/24)
Indiana settles lawsuit over religious rights of Indian inmates (4/24)
District leaders on Tohono O'odham Nation removed over theft (4/24)
Morongo Band announces partnership for Internet poker game (4/24)
Snoqualmie Tribe seeks repayment of investment in Fiji casino (4/24)
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe expected to miss second gaming payment (4/24)
Judge won't block construction of Jamul Indian Village casino (4/24)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe awaits decision in gaming lawsuit (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala student makes name as young writer (4/23)
Mark Trahant: Budget predictions at the Indian Health Service (4/23)
Zoltán Grossman: Cowboy Indian Alliance rides in Washington (4/23)
Gyasi Ross: Stop Keystone XL Pipeline and protect homelands (4/23)
Videos: Cowboy Indian Alliance protests Keystone XL Pipeline (4/23)
Steve Russell: Indians often seen an obstacle to government (4/23)
Mary Pember: Ojibwe women rise to protect the environment (4/23)
Brent Cahwee: Shoni Schimmel brings her show to the WNBA (4/23)
Malcolm Benally: Some Navajo leaders clueless on mascots (4/23)
Jacoby Ellsbury makes strong debut with New York Yankees (4/23)
Washington team owner says he 'understands' Indian issues (4/23)
Gathering of Nations ready for annual powwow and pageant (4/23)
Paskenta Band suspends family during contentious meeting (4/23)
Navajo family sues restaurant over drunken driving deaths (4/23)
Crushplate: 10 disturbing facts about Indian Country health (4/23)
North Dakota tribe ranks high among energy producers in US (4/23)
WXPR: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe taps green energy (4/23)
Opinion: Tribal members challenge California taxation rules (4/23)
Supreme Court allows ban on affirmative action in Michigan (4/23)
Turtle Talk: No word from Supreme Court on Bay Mills case (4/23)
ICT interview with Ernie Stevens of NIGA on racist mascots (4/23)
Jamul Band rejects claim about burial ground at casino site (4/23)
Stockbridge-Munsee Band sends $1M casino application fee (4/23)
Ho-Chunk Nation seeks road grant for off-reservation casino (4/23)
Teacher resigns after arrest for theft at Poarch Creek casino (4/23)
Native Sun News: Sisseton Wahpeton fighter gets big chance (4/22)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge man behind Revolution Couture (4/22)
CDC reports show high death rates among Native Americans (4/22)
more headlines...


Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | 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.