News & Features

Former Blackfeet Chairman Pleads Guilty in Wire Fraud Scheme

Willie Sharp stole $174,000 from tribal Head Start program

A disgraced former chairman of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has admitted to stealing $174,000 from a child assistance program.

Willie Sharp, 66, of Browning pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud on Nov. 6 in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.

According to court records, Sharp approved numerous false overtime requests for his wife and other employees of the tribe’s Head Start program.  The falsely claimed overtime pay totaled $174,000 in federal funds for more than 5,800 hours claimed over a 15-month period. The investigation has resulted in the indictment and conviction of five other people, including Denise Sharp, Theresa Calf Boss Ribs, Patrick Calf Boss Ribs, Carol Bird and Allen Shane Gross.

Sharp will be sentenced in March 2020.