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Leader of fake tribe guilty in immigration scam
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Filed Under: Law

A federal jury found a Kansas man who claims he is the leader of a tribe guilty for scamming immigrants with promises of U.S. citizenship.

Malcolm Webber calls himself the Grand Chief Thunderbird IV of the Kaweah Indian Nation. Prosecutors said he sold $600 "tribal membership" cards to immigrants and told them it would help them cross the border and win U.S. citizenship.

"Thousands of people paid for memberships in a fictitious Indian tribe dreamed up by Mr. Webber,” said U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren in a statement. "He gave them the false hope that joining his so-called Kaweah Indian Nation would make them U.S. citizens. The claim he made during trial that he had acted in good faith was not credible.”

A jury agreed that Webber was guilty of six fraud and immigration charges. He was acquitted on one conspiracy count.

Get the Story:
Immigrants were defrauded by citizenship claims of tribal membership, jury says (AP 8/13)

Related Stories:
Witness says fake tribe pulled in $30K a day (8/8)
Leader of fake tribe on trial for immigration scam (8/5)
Leader of fake tribe headed to trial on fraud charges (6/6)
Texas seeks final judgment against fake tribe (11/7)
Pair accused of selling fake tribal memberships (11/2)
Leader of fake tribe remains locked up on charges (9/18)
Leader of fake tribe arrested in immigration scam (9/7)
Kaweah Nation denies scamming immigrants (8/29)
NIHB Chair: Tribal membership not for sale (8/24)
Texas sues fake tribe for selling 'membership' (8/22)
Opinion: Immigrants fall for citizenship scams (8/21)
Unrecognized tribe cites 10K immigrant recruitments (8/15)
Arrests linked to tribe selling 'membership' (8/14)
Fake tribe offers membership to Mexican nationals (8/10)



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