Charges Brought Against Former Tribal Police Chief

The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians is reacting tonight to federal fraud and embezzlement charges brought against their former police chief and board member, Fred Paquin. Paquin served as the tribe's police chief in Sault Ste. Marie for more than ten years until 2008. The Justice Department Tuesday named Paquin in 16 counts of fraud and embezzlement. His daughter, Mary Cullen, is named in four counts. The government accuses them of using thousands of dollars in federal tribal police grants for their own personal and political gain. The tribe's police department received more than a million dollars in special grant money between 2001 and 2006. The charges claim Paquin used an accounting scheme to spend thousands of dollars in grant funds on equipment and expenses it was never approved for. The government also says he made sure his daughter received paychecks adding up to $21,000, even when she wasn't working for the tribe. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians chairman released this statement today: “This is a disappointing and difficult time for all parties involved, and as a victim of the alleged crimes, the tribe will continue to monitor the legal proceedings and fully cooperate with federal authorities.”

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