Oglala man charged in connection with theft of $1M in Indian education funds

Stacy Phelps.Photo from Lakota Country Times

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced charges against three people in connection with the theft of $1 million in funds from an Indian education program.

Stacy Phelps, 42, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, faces four misdemeanor counts for his work at the American Indian Institute for Innovation. He's accused of backdating a series of contracts with Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, a company whose founder was allegedly at the center of the $1 million theft from GEAR UP, a federal program that is designed to help Indian and low-income students.

Scott Westerhuis, however, can't be held accountable because authorities said he shot his wife and their four children before setting their home on fire and turning the gun on himself last September.

“There has been a tragic loss of a young family and financial decisions made affecting funding set aside for important purposes including Native American children. As Attorney General, I will continue to address what has happened with state, federal and local authorities and restore the public’s trust,” Jackley. said in a press release.

In addition to Phelps, Daniel Mark Guericke, 58, and Stephanie A. Hubers, 43, were charged. Of the trio, Hubers is facing the most serious charges and the most prison time.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader has posted the indictments against all three defendants.

Get the Story:
Three charged with felonies in connection with GEAR UP misconduct (AP 3/16)
Murder-suicide: Couple embezzled almost $1 million (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 3/16)
Jackley charges 3 in GEAR UP scandal (The Pierre Capital Journal 3/16)

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