Six charged with stealing from Blackfeet Nation youth program

Six people, including the father of a sitting tribal council member, have been charged with stealing from a Blackfeet Nation youth program that received $9.3 million in federal funds.

The tribe requested an investigation after an audit of the Po’Ka Project turned up inconsistencies. Federal authorities say the the leaders of the program, along with four others, created fake invoices, accepted kickbacks and used credit cards for personal use.

Francis Onstad and Delyle “Shanny” Augare served as the director and assistant director, respectively, of the Po’Ka Project . Augare is the father of council member and state Sen. Shannon Augare (D), who faces legal troubles of his own.

The tribe suspended Onstad and the elder Augare over a year ago due to allegations of mismanagement. By that time, the Po’Ka Project had come to an end because the federal funds dried up.

Federal authorities say the pair, along with four others, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the youth program.

Get the Story:
6 charged with embezzling $9.3M from Montana tribal youth program (AP 8/8)

Related Stories:
Blackfeet Nation requested investigation of youth program (8/5)

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