- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - Federal prosecutors have filed new charges against a Havre businessman for his alleged role in defrauding the Chippewa Cree Tribe.

Shad James Huston pleaded not guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit theft and theft from an Indian tribal organization and wire fraud.

Huston had pleaded guilty last August to theft, failure to file currency transaction reports and bribery of a tribal official. However, he withdrew the pleas in March, saying prosecutors tried to punish him for crimes not included in the plea agreement.

Huston’s previous plea acknowledged he received $120,000 from the tribe in October 2011 for $4,000 worth of road work and spent $25,000 to benefit the former chairman of the tribal business committee.

Prosecutors have alleged that key players in the conspiracy occasionally met at Huston’s pawn shop in Havre to decide who would receive federal contracts and how large they had to be to cover kickbacks to tribal officials.

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