Cedarview on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah, home to the Ute Tribe. Photo: John D. Hunt / S.J. & Jessie Quinney Library

Former employee of Ute Tribe charged with nine counts of extortion

A former employee of the Ute Tribe has been charged with nine counts of extortion in federal court.

Leallen Blackhair is accusing of forcing companies and individuals doing business on the reservation to pay him for alleged infractions of tribal law. He took about $110,000 from about 66 victims, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The tribe began investigating Blackhair in 2014, the paper reported. A subsequent report that corroborated allegations of extortion later made its way into an unrelated federal court case, KSL.Com reported in 2015.

Blackhair worked for the Ute Energy and Minerals Department until he was fired in 2013, The Tribune reported. He found another tribal job that same year but was fired in 2014, the paper said.

Read More on the Story:
Former Ute Indian Tribe employee accused of extorting $110K from companies doing business on the reservation (The Salt Lake Tribune January 24, 2018)

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