PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma - The Osage Nation Attorney General’s Office filed criminal charges against a former employee for adding non-Indians as members of the tribe.

According a news release, the office filed three counts of tampering with public records against Asa Cunningham, 48, of Pawhuska.

The office accuses the former employee of falsifying membership applications by enrolling non-Indians as Osages, possibly defrauding the Nation out of thousands of dollars. The money would have been used to improve the lives of legitimate tribal members, according to the release. 

The charges stem from an Osage Nation Police Department investigation into the CDIB/Membership Department’s handling of membership applications.

The release says Osage Nation Attorney General Holli Wells is working closely with Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear and his staff to make sure employees of the tribe do not consider themselves above the law.