- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MACY, Neb. (AP) - Two former Omaha Tribe of Nebraska officials are charged in federal court with theft of tribal funds.

Amen Sheridan, 53, and Julia Whiteskunk, 53, both of Walthill, were indicted in last month on two counts each, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Nebraska.

Prosecutors said in court documents that the pair illegally used $4,000 in tribal housing authority funds as a down payment for a house they bought together in 2009. Officials said Sheridan didn’t qualify for the funds because he wasn’t a first-time home buyer. His and Whiteskunk’s combined incomes also exceeded fund guidelines, according to the documents.

The pair also are accused of moving more than $50,000 in restricted housing funds into a tribal account, then issuing a $30,000 check from the account to Sheridan.

Each charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Some of the missing money was from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which notified federal prosecutors in Omaha of the allegations, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Jan Sharp told the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1l0Lrp8 ).

Sheridan is a former tribal chairman, and Whiteskunk was the executive director of the tribal housing authority. Court documents do not list attorneys for them.

A woman who answered the phone at the tribal offices in Macy told the newspaper Whiteskunk no longer works for the Omaha Tribal Housing Authority. The phone rang unanswered late Wednesday morning at the Omaha Tribe offices.

Their initial court appearance has been set for March 17, according to online court documents.

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