RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A former secretary of the Oglala Sioux Credit and Finance Office has avoided prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement.
Helen Hernandez, of Pine Ridge, has been sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to pay $42,100 in restitution to the tribe. Hernandez stole from a tribal program that provides loans and repayment plans for qualified tribal members. She issued payroll deduction loans to people who didn’t qualify, used the money for personal items and never repaid the tribe.
Hernandez could have been sentenced to five years in prison for the crime. She was indicted earlier this month and sentenced last week.