Former Chippewa Cree Tribe chairman sentenced to 34 months

Bruce Sunchild admitted that he accepted a Chevrolet Suburban like this one as a kickback. Photo from Bull-Doser / Wikipedia

Bruce Sunchild, a former chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana, was sentenced to 34 months in federal prison.

Sunchild, 69, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, income tax evasion and accepting a bribe. He admitted that he accepted a Chevrolet Suburban -- a bribe worth $25,000 -- in exchange for steering a $300,000 tribal contract to an associate and that he directed the theft of another $12,500 in tribal funds.

Additionally, three more people were sentenced as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe on the Rocky Boy's Reservation. Mark Craig Leischner and Tammy Leischner each received two years while James Howard Eastlick received six years.

At least 18 former tribal leaders, officials and their associates have been convicted as part of the investigation. The effort -- known as the The Guardians Project in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana -- has put the state on top of a nationwide list of judicial districts with the most government corruption prosecutions.

Get the Story:
Sunchild sentenced for bribery, theft, embezzlement, and tax evasion (MTN News 3/10)
Former tribal chairman sentenced to almost 3 years prison (AP 3/10)
Sunchild sentenced to almost three years (The Havre Daily News 3/11)
Husband and wife sentenced to prison for role in Rocky Boy's corruption case (MTN News 3/11)
Eastlick sentenced to prison for role in Rocky Boy's corruption case (MTN News 3/11)
Three up for sentencing in Rocky Boy’s corruption case (AP 3/11)

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