Former Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians tribal council member sentenced to prison for wire fraud

Published 2:28 pm Thursday, June 3, 2021

JACKSON, Miss. — A former member of the Tribal Council for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians   was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for wire fraud, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.

According to court documents, Randy Lamar Anderson, 46, of Conehatta, admitted to forging hotel bills and receipts, and submitting those documents to the Tribal government in claims for reimbursement for official business travel. The total loss to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was calculated at over $12,500.

An original indictment returned by a federal grand jury in February 2019 first charged the former elected lawmaker with defrauding the Tribal government (one count of theft and two counts of wire fraud).  A superseding indictment, returned by the federal grand jury in November 2019, alleged that Anderson, while subject to the conditions of his release on bond, committed additional crimes against other Members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians residing in the Conehatta community on Reservation lands, and attempted to deter them from reporting his criminal conduct.

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Since the original indictment issued, Anderson’s term on the Tribal Council expired, and Anderson did not run for reelection to the Council.

On December 7, 2020, Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

Today, Chief Judge Daniel P. Jordan III sentenced Anderson to 24 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and restitution in the amount of $12,501.31.

“As long as public corruption continues to be an issue in our State, I can promise you that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will be here to root it out, prosecute it, and ensure that justice is done.  I want to personally thank the agencies involved for working with us to catch those who violate our corruption laws,” said Acting U.S. Attorney LaMarca.

Acting U.S. Attorney LaMarca commended the work of the Special Agents with the FBI’s Jackson Division who investigated the case.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein and Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Payne.