More executives targeted in Chippewa Cree Tribe criminal probe

The offices of the Chippewa Cree Tribe on the Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana. Photo from Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Executives of a firm that once worked with the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Montana are facing a criminal probe, the Associated Press reports.

Zachary Roberts, Richard Lee Broome and Martin Mazzara of Encore Services LLC disclosed the probe by asking a federal judge to delay a civil lawsuit filed by the tribe, the AP said. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana, though, would not confirm or deny an investigation.

"The criminal investigation mirrors the civil action and is substantially similar if not identical to the subject matter of the civil action," attorneys for the trio wrote in a court filing, the AP reported.

Encore helped the tribe launch First American Capital Resources, an online lending business. Two former executives of that firm -- Neal Rosette and Billi Anne Morsette -- have since been indicted for allegedly stealing from the tribe.

In the civil lawsuit, the tribe alleges Encore hid a secret payment arrangement to Rosette and Morsette. An arbitrator ordered Encore to pay the tribe $1.18 but the company is disputing the award in federal court.

First American Capital Resources has since become known as Plain Green Loans. Rosette and Morsette once worked for the new entity but left. The tribe's former chairman, who is serving a 68-month sentence on other charges, has been implicated in the scheme.

As part of the Guardians Project, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana has indicted more than two dozen Chippewa Cree leaders, employees and associates on the reservation. The effort has put Montana on top of a nationwide list of judicial districts with the most government corruption prosecutions.

Get the Story:
Criminal probe into tribal lender includes Nevada partners (AP 8/28)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Former executives charged with theft from Chippewa Cree Tribe (8/26)
Chippewa Cree Tribe slams online lending lawsuit as 'baseless' (08/05)
Another sentence in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption scandal (07/30)
Former Chippewa Cree Tribe chair sentenced in corruption case (07/29)
Ex-BLM official sentenced in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption case (07/08)
Two face sentencing as part of Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption case (07/07)
Chippewa Cree Tribe elects Ken St. Marks as chair for fourth time (07/02)
Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption continues with more charges (6/25)
Chippewa Cree Tribe faces additional review of federal funding (6/23)
Chippewa Cree Tribe hit with class action over online lending (05/15)
Chippewa Cree Tribe ordered to pay $648K to ousted chairman (4/29)
Guilty pleas and sentences for Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption (04/20)
Another conviction from Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption probe (03/27)
Another guilty plea from Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption case (3/19)
Defendant disputes plea in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption case (3/16)
Former Chippewa Cree Tribe chairman sentenced to 34 months (3/11)
Leader of Chippewa Cree Tribe ousted from office for 3rd time (3/4)
Minor setback in corruption probe on Rocky Boy's Reservation (2/23)
Chippewa Cree Tribe returns ousted leader to chairman's post (02/05)
Another guilty conviction and indictment for Chippewa Cree Tribe (1/30)
Former Chippewa Cree Tribe chair pleads guilty in corruption case (12/09)
Ousted leader of Chippewa Cree Tribe denies theft accusations (12/3)
Leaders of Chippewa Cree Tribe try to remove chairman again (12/2)
Chippewa Cree Tribe swears in chairman more than a year later (11/24)
Former chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe enters guilty plea (11/13)
Republican lawmaker for reservations has felony conviction (11/10)
Former chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe faces more charges (10/31)
Former health executive from Chippewa Cree Tribe sentenced (10/23)
Former chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe to enter guilty plea (09/25)
Guardians Project brings more tribal corruption cases in Montana (9/24)
Chippewa Cree Tribe only receives 4.5 percent of loan revenues (9/10)
Chippewa Cree Tribe was awarded $1.1M over payday loan deal (9/9)
Chippewa Cree Tribe sues online loan business partners for $13M (9/5)
Another guilty plea comes in Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption case (08/19)
Chippewa Cree man sentenced to 7 1/2 years in corruption case (8/15)
Chippewa Cree Tribe takes Original Americans Foundation money (08/01)
Former employee sentenced for theft from Chippewa Cree Tribe (7/29)
Tribal corruption cases put Montana on top of prosecution list (7/14)
Ex-employee found guilty of stealing from Chippewa Cree Tribe (06/27)
Another person pleads guilty for Chippewa Cree Tribe scandal (5/13)
Former lawmaker pleads guilty in Chippewa Cree corruption case (04/03)
More criminal cases filed in thefts from Chippewa Cree Tribe (10/30)
Chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe blocked from taking office (10/08)
Group forms to battle corruption on reservations in Montana (10/4)
New indictment in theft case involving Chippewa Cree Tribe (10/2)
Chippewa Cree Tribe delays swearing-in of chair amid challenge (08/08)