From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota:
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced today a Pierre, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Theft from a Program Receiving Federal Funds.
Dawn R. Seaboy Block, age 52, was indicted on November 13, 2019. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on December 6, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that between October 2018 and May 2019, while she was employed as an agent of the United Sioux Tribes of South Dakota Development Corporation (USTDC), Block did embezzle, steal, obtain by fraud, and intentionally misapply property of USTDC, an organization receiving Federal funds.
The charge is merely an accusation and Block is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Elmore is prosecuting the case.
The case was brought as part of The Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities. The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include: Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspector Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.
For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (605) 330-4400. To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.