Sixth Person Arraigned on Theft of Federal Tribal Money

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — A sixth person has been arraigned on charges of stealing federal money meant to aid the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.

James Howard Eastlick pleaded not guilty on Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong.

Eastlick is charged with multiple counts of fraud, theft and money laundering in an alleged conspiracy that also included his daughter, Tammy Leischner and her husband, Mark Leischner.

Chippewa Cree tribal officials charged include John Chance Houle (hyool), Tony Belcourt and his wife, Hailey Belcourt.

The six are accused of using a shell company and intermediaries to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal aid. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money was meant for a $361 million pipeline project being constructed to provide fresh drinking water to the Rocky Boy’s reservation and surrounding counties.

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