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Trial into Kickapoo spending begins in Texas

A trial into alleged misspending of the Kickapoo Tribe of Texas opened in federal court on Tuesday.

Maricela Mendoza, 48, is accused of stealing almost $260,000 from the tribe's health care program, The San Antonio Express-News reported. Authorities say she wrote phony checks, some of them to herself.

Mendoza's attorney blames tribal officials for shoddy bookkeeping, the paper said. Many former tribal leaders have been called to testify but some, like former chairman Raul Garza, are refusing to talk. Others are hiding out in Mexico, the paper said.

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Kickapoo trial begins (The San Antonio Express-News 10/20)