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Published August 09, 2011, 01:51 PM

Tribal council leaders change plea in embezzlement case

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A former Spirit Lake tribal councilman and his wife have changed their not guilty pleas to theft and embezzlement charges in federal court in North Dakota.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A former Spirit Lake tribal councilman and his wife have changed their not guilty pleas to theft and embezzlement charges in federal court in North Dakota.

U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon says Carl and Barbara Walking Eagle failed to disclose their actual household income so that they could get fuel assistance. They are to be sentenced Oct. 26 in Grand Forks.

Sixty-nine year-old Carl Walking Eagle pleaded guilty to embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal organization. Sixty-four year-old Barbara Walking Eagle, who is a former librarian at the community college in Fort Totten, pleaded nolo contendere to the same charges and also to giving false statements. The term means she does not accept nor deny responsibility but agrees to accept punishment.

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