Five people who are accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal stimulus aid from Montana's Chippewa Cree tribe have pleaded not guilty to four charges in a new indictment.
Former state Rep. Tony Belcourt, his wife, Hailey, and three others entered their pleas Thursday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls. They are accused of diverting some of the $33 million in federal funding the tribe received in 2009 and 2010 for construction of a water pipeline to the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation.
Tony Belcourt is CEO of the Chippewa Cree Construction Corp., which is leading the water pipeline project.
The new charges are conspiracy to embezzle federal grant and contract funds, theft from an Indian tribal government receiving federal funding and two bribery counts.