Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Biologist Gets 10 Months for Yurok Grift

A judge today sentenced a local biologist to serve 10 months in prison for his role in conspiring to embezzle nearly $1 million in federal funds from the Yurok Tribe over a three-year period beginning in 2007, according to Yurok Tribal Chairman Thomas O’Rourke. - Thadeus Greenson/The Journal

Mad River Biologists founder Ron LeValley pleaded guilty in February to a single count of conspiring to embezzle funds from an Indian tribal organization and faced up to two and half years in federal prison in the case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the federal probation department felt a one year prison sentence was appropriate in the case, but U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ultimately opted for the 10-month sentence, citing cooperation with a federal investigation into the grift — cooperation that led directly to the conviction of LeValley’s co-conspirator, former Yurok Tribe Forestry Director Roland Raymond, who was sentenced to a three-year prison term in January....