3 Sentenced in Blackfeet Head Start Embezzlement Case

wife of a former chairman of the Blackfeet Indian tribe and two others sentenced in Great Falls

By Justin Franz

GREAT FALLS — The people, including the wife of a former chairman of the Blackfeet Indian tribe, have been sentenced after pleading guilty to stealing from the Montana tribe’s Head Start program.

U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme says about $174,000 was stolen from the federally funded children’s assistance program in an overtime pay scheme.

Prosecutors say 60-year-old Denise Sharp, 51-year-old Theresa Marie Calf Boss Ribs and 44-year-old Patrick H. Calf Boss Ribs Jr. each received prison sentences of eight or nine months at Thursday’s hearing. They also must pay $139,000 in restitution.

Sharp is the wife of Willie Sharp, who has been indicted on related charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the Head Start managers and others falsely claimed more than 5,850 hours of overtime from the program.

The tribe previously repaid more than $250,000 to the U.S. government.

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