A former Oglala Sioux tribal official who pleaded guilty to stealing from the tribe has been sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and must repay the tribe $2,500.

Charles Leo Cummings, 57, had pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense, committed between December 2015 and January 2016 while he was serving as vice chairman of the Pine Ridge reservation’s LaCreek District Board, according to federal court records. He admitted receiving checks worth $2,500 to buy food and other items for a district New Year’s party, but instead spent the money on himself and his family. 

Cummings’ sentencing Sept. 29 came as a result of the Guardians Project, a federal government investigation into fraudulent activities against Native American tribes.

Contact Tiffany Tan at tiffany.tan@rapidcityjournal.com.

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