FEMA awarded the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in Montana (Tribe) a $31.6 million grant for damages from a June-July 2010 flood disaster. The Tribe mismanaged this grant, which resulted in a domino effect of negative consequences. First, the Tribe awarded a $3.7 million sole-source contract to a Tribal-owned corporation, the Chippewa Cree Construction Corporation (Corporation). The lack of full and open competition set the stage for fraud, waste, and abuse. Then, the Tribe neglected to identify the material deficiencies in the Corporation’s fiscal controls and accounting procedures. The Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer took advantage of these weaknesses; and a Federal court has since convicted him of Federal corruption charges for embezzling the Tribe’s insurance proceeds and FEMA grant funds, and sentenced him to prison in August 2014. Finally, the Tribe could not provide documentation sufficient to support the $3.9 million it claimed for Project 117.
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