North Dakota tribal governor pleads guilty to bribery

A former government official of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, accused of taking bribes and kickbacks from a construction contractor, pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges in North Dakota.

Randall Phelan, 58, of Mandaree, North Dakota, was an elected representative of the governing body of the Three Affiliated Tribes from late 2012 to mid-2020. Investigators said Phelan used his official position to help the contractor’s company by awarding contracts. know. , creating quotes and managing fraudulent invoices.

His trial was set to begin on Tuesday.

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Phelan and two others were originally charged with receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the eight-year bribery scheme on the oil-rich Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The contractor has been found guilty of bribery and cooperating with prosecutors. Prosecutors said the company has received more than $17 million in construction work on the reservation over the past decade.

A North Dakota tribal leader has been found guilty of bribery after taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a construction contractor.
(Fox news)

Phelan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery related to programs that receive federal funds, fraud with honest services and bribery related to programs that receive federal funds. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. The sentencing is set for February 22.

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Michael Hoffman, a lawyer for Phelan, did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

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