Federal Jury Convicts Former Choctaw Leader Of Theft, Bribery - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Federal Jury Convicts Former Choctaw Leader Of Theft, Bribery

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A federal jury has found a former leader with the Choctaw nation guilty of six charges.

They convicted Jason Merida, who was the tribe's executive director of construction, with conspiracy to commit theft or bribery, stealing federal money and tax fraud.

3/26/2014 Related Story: Ex-Choctaw Nation Construction Official Charged In Embezzlement Scheme

Prosecutors said he got money, trips, a Cadillac Escalade and even plumbing fixtures and cattle guards from subcontractors who worked on tribal projects.

They also said he worked with others to create false invoices that allowed him to steal more than $500,000 from the tribe and used that money for weapons, hunting equipment and trips and furniture.

The tribe lost an estimated $7 million in the scheme that was uncovered during a routine audit, a report says.

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