A second man has pleaded guilty to pilfering nearly $1 million from the Yurok Tribe.
Ron LeValley, 66, pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday to a federal count of conspiracy to embezzle funds from an Indian tribe.
LeValley faces up to five years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for May 20.
Former Yurok Tribe Forestry Director Roland Raymond has already been sentenced in his connection to the embezzlement. He was given a 36-month sentence last month after pleading guilty to the same embezzlement count as LeValley.
Raymond also was ordered to pay $852,000 in restitution.
A majority of the money is alleged to have been purloined from the tribe’s coffers over a two-year period for spotted owl surveys that were not completed by Mad River Biologists, a consortium of scientists based in Eureka, a court document states.
LeValley is the founder of Mad River Biologists. He resides in Mendocino County.
The money allegedly embezzled was from funds allocated for the Endangered Species Act by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The case began with an investigation conducted by Del Norte District Attorney Investigator A.C. Field.
Originally, the District Attorney’s Office filed the case but dismissed it once the U.S. Attorney’s Office took it over.
Sean McAllister, 46, of Eureka, a biologist and a third defendant named in the local case, has not been charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.