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Date: 09-14-2019

Case Style:

United States of America v. George Phillip Tiger

Case Number: 6:19-cr-00066-RAW

Judge: Kimberly West and Ronald A. White

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma (Muskogee County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Douglas Horn, Ryan Heatherman, Courtney Jordan

Defendant's Attorney:


Call Kent Morlan at 888-354-4529 if you need a criminal defense bribery concerning the receipt of federal funds lawyer in Muskogee, Oklahoma.


Description:




Muskogee, OK - Tiger Enters Guilty Plea To Federal Bribery Charge

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Bristow, Oklahoma, resident GEORGE PHILLIP TIGER, age 69, entered a guilty plea today to Bribery Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(B), punishable by not more than 10 years imprisonment, up to a $250,000.00 fine, or both.

Tiger, the former Principal Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, was an agent of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town (AQTT) from September 26, 2017 through December 4, 2018. His duties included serving as the Chairman of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) Board. The AQTT formed the EDA to identify, plan, initiate and develop tribal economic and industrial activities on behalf of the AQTT. The AQTT is an Indian tribal government and organization that received federal assistance in excess of $10,000.00 during any one-year period from January 1, 2012 through the date of the indictment. The AQTT is headquartered in Wetumka, Oklahoma.

The Indictment to which Tiger entered his guilty plea alleged that from on or about September 26, 2017 through on or about February 15, 2019, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere, Defendant George Phillip Tiger did corruptly solicit, demand, accept and agree to accept a thing of value from persons known to the Grand Jury, intending to be influenced and rewarded in connection with a transaction or series of transactions of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town (AQTT) involving $5,000.00 or more.

“Mr. Tiger took advantage of the position of trust he had been given by the people of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town. Instead of acting in the best interests of those he was appointed to serve, Tiger sought out and received unlawful profit for himself,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “This office and the agencies who have been involved in this investigation are committed to identifying, investigating, and prosecuting those who corrupt the positions of trust and authority they hold.”

"While serving as an appointed official for the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Tiger repeatedly exploited his position by soliciting and accepting bribes related to Tribal business. This plea reinforces the message that law enforcement will not tolerate tribal officials who engage in corrupt activity for personal financial gain at the expense of the people they serve,” said Melissa Godbold, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Oklahoma City Division.

"This case demonstrates the commitment of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), along with our law enforcement partners, to aggressively pursue those who damage the economic health of Tribal organizations and their business entities that support critical national security programs funded by the Department of Defense (DoD)," said Michael Mentavlos, Special Agent-in-Charge of the DCIS Southwest Field Office. "DCIS will continue to investigate corruption and fraud that affects the DoD through the exploitation of Small Business Programs designed to help disadvantaged groups.”

“The IRS is committed to devoting all resources necessary to assist our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in evaluating financial aspects of criminal investigations,” said Tamera Cantu, IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office. “Today’s guilty plea underscores that commitment, not only to our law enforcement partners, but to the taxpayers and citizens who rely on us to uphold and enforce the law.”

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service, Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General, General Services Administration – Office of Inspector General, Army Criminal Investigations Division, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service participated in the investigation that lead to the Indictment.

The Honorable Kimberly E. West, Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, accepted the plea and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report. The defendant was allowed to remain free on a personal recognizance bond pending a sentencing hearing.


Charge:


Bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds in violation of 18 U.S.C. 666, which provides:


§666. Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving Federal funds

(a) Whoever, if the circumstance described in subsection (b) of this section exists—

(1) being an agent of an organization, or of a State, local, or Indian tribal government, or any agency thereof—

(A) embezzles, steals, obtains by fraud, or otherwise without authority knowingly converts to the use of any person other than the rightful owner or intentionally misapplies, property that—

(i) is valued at $5,000 or more, and

(ii) is owned by, or is under the care, custody, or control of such organization, government, or agency; or

(B) corruptly solicits or demands for the benefit of any person, or accepts or agrees to accept, anything of value from any person, intending to be influenced or rewarded in connection with any business, transaction, or series of transactions of such organization, government, or agency involving any thing of value of $5,000 or more; or

(2) corruptly gives, offers, or agrees to give anything of value to any person, with intent to influence or reward an agent of an organization or of a State, local or Indian tribal government, or any agency thereof, in connection with any business, transaction, or series of transactions of such organization, government, or agency involving anything of value of $5,000 or more;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

(b) The circumstance referred to in subsection (a) of this section is that the organization, government, or agency receives, in any one year period, benefits in excess of $10,000 under a Federal program involving a grant, contract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance, or other form of Federal assistance.

(c) This section does not apply to bona fide salary, wages, fees, or other compensation paid, or expenses paid or reimbursed, in the usual course of business.

(d) As used in this section—

(1) the term “agent” means a person authorized to act on behalf of another person or a government and, in the case of an organization or government, includes a servant or employee, and a partner, director, officer, manager, and representative;

(2) the term “government agency” means a subdivision of the executive, legislative, judicial, or other branch of government, including a department, independent establishment, commission, administration, authority, board, and bureau, and a corporation or other legal entity established, and subject to control, by a government or governments for the execution of a governmental or intergovernmental program;

(3) the term “local” means of or pertaining to a political subdivision within a State;

(4) the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States; and

(5) the term “in any one-year period” means a continuous period that commences no earlier than twelve months before the commission of the offense or that ends no later than twelve months after the commission of the offense. Such period may include time both before and after the commission of the offense.

Outcome: 09/13/2019 15 CONSENT by Defendant to Proceed before a Magistrate Judge for Change of Plea (in Felony case) approved by Magistrate Judge Kimberly E. West as to George Phillip Tiger. (adw, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
09/13/2019 16 MINUTES of Proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Kimberly E. West: Change of Plea Hearing held on 9/13/2019. Guilty plea entered to Count 1 as to George Phillip Tiger. (Court Reporter: Karla McWhorter) (adw, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
09/13/2019 17 WAIVER of Jury approved by Magistrate Judge Kimberly E. West by George Phillip Tiger. (adw, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
09/13/2019 18 PLEA AGREEMENT as to George Phillip Tiger. (adw, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
09/13/2019 19 MINUTE ORDER by Judge Ronald A. White - In light of the guilty plea entered by Defendant George Phillip Tiger on 9/13/2019, the jury trial previously scheduled for 10/1/2019 at 9:00 AM before Judge Ronald A. White is hereby stricken. (adw, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
09/13/2019 20 PLEA AGREEMENT SUPPLEMENT (adw, Deputy Clerk) (Entered: 09/13/2019)

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