Federal Jury Indicts Two Former Paskenta Tribe Employees on Embezzlement Charges

Published January 7, 2017

CORNING, CALIFORNIA – A federal grand jury has criminally charged John Crosby, his mother Ines Crosby, and her sister Leslie Lohse on 69 federal felony counts arising out of alleged embezzlement from the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians (the Tribe), while they were Tribal employees and, in Lohse’s case, an elected official who served as treasurer.

The tribe operates the Rolling

The charges are as follows:

  • Conspiracy to Embezzle or Steal from a Tribal Organization
    • One count against John Crosby;
    • One count against Ines Crosby; and
    • One count against Leslie Lohse.
  • Embezzlement and Theft from a Tribal Organization
    • Twenty-one counts against John Crosby;
    • Twenty-two counts against Ines Crosby; and
    • Five counts against Leslie Lohse.
  • Alteration or Falsification of Records in a Federal Investigation
    • One count against John Crosby;
    • One count against Ines Crosby; and
    • One count against Leslie Lohse.
  • False Statement to a Federal Agent
    • One count against John Crosby;
    • One count against Ines Crosby; and
    • Two counts against Leslie Lohse.
  • Making and Subscribing to a False Tax Return
    • Five counts against John Crobsy; and
    • Five counts against Leslie Lohse.
  • Failure to File a Tax Return
    • Five counts against Ines Crosby.

If convicted on every count:

  • John Crosby would face a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison and fines totaling $6,125,000.
  • Ines Crosby would face a maximum sentence of 145 years in prison and fines totaling $6,262,500.
  • Leslie Lohse would face a maximum sentence of 70 years in prison and fines totaling $2,125,000.

As detailed in the Tribe’s related civil federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) complaint filed in March 2015 in the U.S. District Court,  Eastern District of  California, against John Crosby, Ines Crosby, Leslie Lohse, and others, they and their co-conspirators used vicious and callous methods of intimidation and coercion to maintain access to the Tribe’s money, millions of which they stole in order to live a life of obscene luxury, while services to Tribal members went unfunded and Tribe members lived in fear of economic retaliation.

“The Tribe hails the decision by the grand jury to issue this indictment, which represents a significant step towards vindication and justice for the Tribe,” said Tribal Chairman Andrew Alejandre. “As alleged in the Tribe’s complaint, the harm caused by these persons to Tribe members was not limited to the millions they stole from the Tribe, which could have been used to improve the general welfare of Tribe members. These persons also abused and corrupted the Tribe’s institutions of government and terrorized its members, including elders who lived in fear of losing the income that they depended upon to meet basic needs and who, in some cases, had such income taken from them for speaking out, leaving them destitute.

“The Tribe’s success in removing these persons from power in 2014, after over a decade of abuse, was proof of the power of democracy and the resilience and determination of its members. This indictment is proof of the federal government’s ability and willingness to uphold justice on behalf of those members and others like them. The Tribe is very grateful for the work that led to this indictment and prays for the ultimate success of the government’s effort.”

Stuart G. Gross of Gross & Klein LLP, who represents the Tribe in the civil RICO action commented, “This a great development. We look forward to the convictions.”

The Tribe is represented in its civil RICO action, Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, et al. v. Ines Crosby, et al., by Stuart G. Gross and Rachel Rivers, of Gross & Klein LLP., Andrew M. Purdy of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Inc.

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This BBSNews article was syndicated from Native News Online, and written by Native News Online Staff. Read the original article here.