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2 former Omaha tribal officials sentenced in bonuses case

September 8, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two of nine current and former Omaha Tribal officials who admitted to using federal funds to give themselves bonuses have been sentenced to probation and ordered to repay the money.

The Sioux City Journal reports that 64-year-old Rodney Morris and 65-year-old Barbara Freemont were both sentenced Friday in Omaha’s U.S. District Court to five years’ probation. Morris, a former tribal councilman, was ordered to pay $13,404 in restitution, and Freemont, a former employee, was ordered to pay $89,000.

Both had previously pleaded guilty to one count of misapplication of health care benefit program funds.

They are among nine tribal officials charged in a case that accused the officials of misusing federal funds by awarding nearly $389,000 in bonuses to themselves. Officials say the bonuses were paid from Indian Health Service funds meant to provide health care to members of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, who reside on the Omaha Reservation in Macy in northeastern Nebraska and in western Iowa.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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