Tribal Leader Pleads to Reduced Charges

Tribal Leader Pleads to Reduced Charges

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A disputed American Indian leader who signed a lease to store spent nuclear waste on his impoverished tribe's Utah reservation has pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.

As part of the agreement, Leon Bear admitted failing to account for 67-thousand dollars he was been paid by the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians despite claiming he was unemployed at the time.

As part of the agreement, Bear has agreed to pay the tribe more than 31-thousand dollars.

According to the agreement, filed today, the loss of tax revenue related to the charge was 13-thousand dollars.

Federal prosecutors handed down a six-count indictment against Bear in December 2003 stemming from a two-year investigation into corruption within the leadership of the Tooele County tribe.

He was accused of double-billing for travel expenses, accepting a salary for acting as the tribe's secretary when another had been elected, and embezzling more than 129-thousand dollars in tribal funds

He's scheduled to be sentenced June 27th.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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