Blackfeet Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Wire Fraud

By Beacon Staff

A Blackfeet tribal member has pleaded not guilty to charges related to allegations she stole money from North American Indian Days vendors.

The Great Falls Tribune reports Joyce Tatsey Spoonhunter entered her plea Tuesday to three counts of wire fraud.

Federal court documents say Spoonhunter was secretary to then-tribal business council member Peter “Rusty” Tatsey during 2010 and 2011. She allegedly solicited thousands of dollars and property from vendors paying to reserve spots at the 2011 celebration in Browning.

Prosecutors say Spoonhunter kept the money for herself by sending electronic transmissions to a federal reserve bank, then cashing checks sent to herself ranging from $300 to $617.

If convicted, Spoonhunter faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge and a fine of up to $250,000.

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