Criminal Justice News

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Crownpoint Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement and Theft from Indian Tribal Organization


ALBUQUERQUE—This morning in federal court, Shavna April Bebo, 36, of Crownpoint, New Mexico, pled guilty to an indictment charging her with embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal organization under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

At sentencing, Bebo faces a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, five years of supervised release, and restitution as ordered by the court. The court continued Bebo’s release on the conditions of release imposed when she was arraigned on February 16, 2012, pending her sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Bebo pled guilty to embezzling almost $39,000 in funds belonging to the Littlewater Chapter House of the Navajo Nation. At the time of the offenses alleged in the indictment, Bebo was employed as an administrative assistant in the business office of the Littlewater Chapter House.

According to the indictment, which was filed on January 26, 2012, from October 2009 through August 2010, Bebo willfully and knowingly embezzled approximately $38,998.37 of the funds belonging to the Littlewater Chapter House, a tribal organization in Crownpoint. During this morning’s plea hearing, Bebo pled guilty to the offense charged in the indictment.

According to the plea agreement, Bebo was employed as an administrative assistant in the business office of the Littlewater Chapter House from February 2, 2008 to August 12, 2010, when she was terminated. Shortly after Bebo’s employment was terminated, Littlewater Chapter House officials filed a complaint with the police alleging that Bebo fraudulently had made out checks to herself on the Littlewater Chapter House business account using the officials’ signatures and had cashed the forged checks for her personal gain.

The plea agreement states that the investigation into the complaint against Bebo revealed that Bebo forged 51 checks totaling approximately $38, 998.37. During an interview in August 2011, Bebo admitted that she began forging and cashing checks on the Littlewater Chapter House business account in 2009 and continued to do so until the Chapter House officials exposed her scheme and terminated her employment.

The case was investigated by the Gallup Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Crownpoint Division of the Navajo Nation Department of Safety, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.

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