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Former tribal chairman sentenced for loan fraud

By Associated Press
Published On: Oct 22 2013 03:21:47 PM MDT
GREAT FALLS, Mont. -

A former chairman of the Blackfeet Tribe has been sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay nearly $163,000 in restitution for selling cattle and other property he pledged as collateral for a series of loans from the U.S. Farm Services Agency.
    
The U.S. Attorney's Office says 55-year-old Patrick Charles Thomas of Cut Bank was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Great Falls.
    
Thomas earlier pleaded guilty to unlawful conversion of property. Prosecutors allege that between June 2006 and July 2011 Thomas sold at least $162,865 in cattle, hay equipment and other property he had pledged as collateral for FSA loans without the knowledge of the FSA and without using the money to repay the loans.