U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp sentenced 54-year-old Amen Sheridan for the felony offense of being an accessory to theft from an Indian Tribal Organization
According to federal prosecutor Deborah Gilg, during Sheridan’s tenure as Omaha Tribe chairman the tribe offered payment assistance grants to financially eligible first-time home buyers. Sheridan applied for first-time home buyer assistance even though he wasn’t buying his first home and didn’t qualify for federal assistance. Sheridan’s girlfriend, Julia Whiteskunk administered the payment assistance program.
Whiteskunk and Sheridan bought a home in Walthill, Nebraska, according to federal prosecutors. Whiteskunk prepared a false application for payment assistance to the Omaha Tribal Housing Authority and both signed the document. The document didn’t go through the normal procedures. A subordinate approved it, rather than submitting it to a committee.
Sheridan has repaid the $4,000 in payment assistance awarded by the Housing Authority.
Gilg stated that in this prosecution, it was not the amount of the loss that attracted federal attention, but the abuse of authority and trust by a Tribal Chairman at the expense of those who elected him.