Yurok Tribe discovers misappropriation after accounts payable audit

The ex-forestry director for the Yurok Tribe in California has been charged with federal embezzlement after an accounts payable audit revealed he had stolen nearly $1 million from the organization.

According to The Triplicate, prosecutors allege that Roland Raymond, who has been indicted by a grand jury, conducted the embezzlement scheme with two other individuals who worked for Mad River Biologists. The two scientists, Ron LeValley and Sean McAllister, have not yet been federally charged, but they are accused of embezzlement, conspiracy and burglary. Documents state that Raymond, along with the accomplices, stole Endangered Species Act funds that were given to the tribe by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, reports the source.

More than $900,000 was allegedly taken from the Yurok Tribe by the three defendants, who created false invoices for payments that were never rendered, states The Times-Standard. The men also made unauthorized electronic bank transfers from the company's accounts and used false purchase requests to take the funds. Investigators say the scheme spanned a three-year period. Each defendant pleaded not guilty, and Raymond faces up to five years in prison if convicted, according to the news source.

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