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Former Navajo Nation employee sentenced for federal program fraud

U.S. Attorney NM Twitter Account

Relda Martinez, the former Community Services Coordinator at the White Horse Lake Chapter House (WHLCH) has been sentenced to five years of probation and 50 hours of community service for federal program fraud.


According to a press release from U.S Attorney Fred J. Federici office, Martinez used her access to the WHLCH financial accounting system to use numerous checks to other parties ostensibly as payments for legitimate work.

But issued these checks for greater amounts than the actual cost of the work or for the work that was not performed.

Martinez admitted that the money went to herself, her family members and her friends.

Among the checks Martinez issued, 12 were issued to a person identified in court records as “A.K.”

Martinez listed the purpose of these checks was for archeological surveys, which is required for any land development on the Navajo Nation.

But A.K was not a licensed archeologist, and Martinez knew that, and no surveys were ever performed.

Martinez must pay $26,885.55 in restitution either in full immediately or in monthly installments of $250.00 or 10% of her monthly income whichever is greater.