Former CFO gets prison time for stealing $111k from Montana health clinic

The former CFO of Rocky Boy Health Clinic of the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Box Elder, Mont., was sentenced Feb. 14 to 12 months and one day in prison for wire fraud, according to the Department of Justice.

Kathy Sutherland joined the health clinic as cash and grants manager in 1997, and she worked in that role and as interim CFO for several years. In her roles, she was responsible for administering the employee loan program. Before a loan could be dispersed, the applicant was required to fill out an application and submit it to the loan committee for approval. If an individual owed more than $800 to the loan program, new loans were not issued, according to the DOJ.

Ms. Sutherland used her position to cheat the system and take out $111,902.50 in loans. For reasons not disclosed in court documents, she was fired from the clinic in January 2016, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

In July 2017, Ms. Sutherland was indicted on four charges: wire fraud, theft from an Indian tribal government receiving federal funding, theft from an Indian tribal organization and theft from a healthcare facility. In October, she agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud, and prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other three charges, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

In addition to her prison term, Ms. Sutherland was ordered to pay $111,902.50 in restitution.

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