Eastern Cherokee chief vows cooperation with federal investigations

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: Chief Patrick Lambert on Federal Investigations

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina is the target of two federal investigations, Chief Patrick Lambert confirmed.

One is an audit notification from the Internal Revenue Service, Lambert disclosed at a council meeting on Monday. He said the tribe is being asked for "substantial records" regarding payments to employees and officials.

A second is from the Department of Justice, Lambert said. He confirmed it is a "federal criminal investigation" regarding the Qualla Housing Authority, the tribe's housing agency.

"I’ve instructed the Secretary of Treasury, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Housing to compile all of the documents that have been requested and to cooperate fully with the investigation," Lambert said at the meeting, which was first reported by The Cherokee One Feather, the tribe's newspaper.

The One Feather also posted a letter sent to the Qualla Housing Authority that indicates the investigation centers on "federal program fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud." It was written by Jill Westmoreland Rose, who is the United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Read More on the Story:
Qualla Housing under federal investigation (The Cherokee One Feather 10/10)
FBI investigating tribal housing authority (The Smoky Mountain News 10/12)

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