October 27, 2020

Three charged with creating bogus travel reimbursements, stealing from Choctaw Indian tribe

Three Mississippi men have been indicted on charges of embezzling money from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Randy Lamar Anderson, 46, of Conehatta; Kevin Edwards, 47, of Walnut Grove; and Roderick Bell, 40, of Philadelphia, were indicted on charges stemming from what federal prosecutors say were separate schemes to defraud the Choctaw Tribe by falsifying travel reimbursement payments.

Anderson and Edwards are each separately charged with one count of theft and two counts of wire fraud. Bell is charged with one count of theft and one count of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and FBI agent Christopher Freeze announced this week.

Indictments indicate that between March 2015 and December 2017, the three men allegedly forged hotel bills and receipts and submitted the bogus documents to the Choctaw Tribe’s government for reimbursement allegedly for official business travel.

Theft or embezzlement from a tribal organization carriers a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison. Wire fraud carriers a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a written statement.

Each charge can result in a fine of up to $250,000 as well.