Police Chief pleads guilty to embezzlement

Oklahoma City_ Press Release U.S. Department of Justice:

John C. Richter, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced today that a RAY ANDERSON, 55, of Lawton, Oklahoma, the former Comanche Nation Police Chief, pled guilty to a one-count Information charging him with embezzling $12,121.35 of funds belonging to the Comanche Nation.  As part of the plea, Anderson agreed that the total loss amount to the Comanche Nation caused by his actions was $50,949.18.  Per the terms of the plea agreement, Anderson resigned as the Police Chief of the Comanche Nation and agreed that he abused his position of public trust.

"As law enforcement officers, we have a duty to uphold, enforce and obey the law," said U.S. Attorney John C. Richter. "In this case, unfortunately, a sworn law enforcement officer - the police chief - abused his position of public trust for his own benefit.  This case should send a clear message to the public that such abuse will be aggressively prosecuted."

According to court records and information presented in court today, the Comanche Nation had bank accounts which were managed through the Tribe's finance office on behalf of its various departments, such as the Comanche Nation Police Department.  Opening of a bank account required approval of the Chairman of the Tribe or the Business Committee.  In November of 2004, without the knowledge or approval of the Tribe, Anderson personally set up and exercised exclusive control over a bank account in the name of the Comanche Nation Police Department at Liberty National Bank in Lawton, Oklahoma.  From November of 2004 through December of 2007, Anderson received checks and cash as part of his position which should have been given to the Comanche Nation Department of Finance for deposit into an authorized tribal account.  Instead, he deposited those funds into the personal account he set up and used those funds for his own personal benefit, which included gambling, meals and gifts.

Anderson faces up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing, which will be set in approximately 90 days.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  It was initiated by information received as a result of the FBI's toll-free number 1-877-OK-TRIBE (877-658-7423), which was established by the FBI in Oklahoma City in October of 2007 to provide a single place to report major crimes which have occurred on tribal land.

The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney John C. Richter.