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Tribal Board Member Gets Ten Months in Prison for Embezzlement

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A Sisseton woman received a ten month sentence upon being found guilty of embezzlement from a South Dakota Tribe, where she served on the executive board.

According to a statement from United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler , Carrie Godfrey, 52, of Sisseton, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $31,640, to pay a fine in the amount of $3,000, and to serve three years of supervised release after serving her prison sentence.

The former executive board member of the Big Coulee District of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe was sentenced in federal court on August 17, 2017, to 10 months of imprisonment.

Seiler described the alleged crime:

According to court documents, from approximately June 2010 through March 2013, Godfrey and her co-defendants conspired to embezzle, steal, and knowingly convert to their own use funds from the Big Coulee District of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe, an Indian tribal organization.  The Big Coulee District is a political subdivision of the Tribe.  Godfrey and her co-defendants were all elected executive board members or employees of the District at the time.

During the conspiracy, they stole a total of $81,542.50 from the District.  Godfrey received $31,640 of the stolen funds and used the funds for her own purposes.

Multiple agencies including the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office were a part of the investigation.


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