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Federal Recognition
Man awaits sentencing for faking Indian heritage

A New York man faces up to 10 years in prison for forging documents in an failed attempt to claim Indian ancestry.

Claiming to be the "Sachem Golden Eagle of the Western Mohegans," Ronald A. Roberts faked documents to bolster his bid for federal recognition, federal authorities say. He lined up investors in hopes of opening a casino, first near the Vermont border then next in the Catskills.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs researched the documents Roberts sent to and found that he was descended from European settlers. "We had delved into both sides, and actually Mr. Roberts is eligible to be a Son of the American Revolution," recognition chief Lee Fleming told The New York Times. "Based on the evidence we have reviewed, we do not see any connection to any Native American Indians."

Roberts [Ed. Note: NOT Fleming, he's in the clear :-)] will be sentenced June 17.

Get the Story:
Man With Flair for Reinventing Himself Goes a Step Too Far (The New York Times 6/3)