Below is a press release from the United States Department of Justice:
A former member of the Tribal Council for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for wire fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.
Roderick Bell, 42, of Philadelphia, was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2019, for defrauding the Choctaw Tribal government. According to court records, between April 2017 and October 2017, Bell forged hotel bills and receipts and submitted those documents to the Tribal government in claims for reimbursement for official business travel. Bell pled guilty on June 29, 2021 to wire fraud.
The sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves was 12 months and one day in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, and restitution to the Tribe in the amount of $11,094.15. Bell will surrender on December 6, 2021, to complete his sentence in the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons.
“As long as public corruption continues to be an issue in our State, I can promise you that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will be here to root it out, prosecute it, and ensure that justice is done. I want to personally thank the agencies involved for working with us to catch those who violate our corruption laws,” said Acting U.S. Attorney LaMarca.
Acting U.S. Attorney LaMarca commended the work of the Special Agents with the FBI’s Jackson Division who investigated the case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein and Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Payne.