Former Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief Sentenced In Bribery Scheme


Thursday, August 13th 2020, 12:39 pm
By: News On 6


The former Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in prison for his part in a bribery scheme.

Related Story: Former Principal Chief George Tiger Pleads Guilty To Bribery

Tiger pleaded guilty in federal court in 2019 after a grand jury indicted him for bribery involving federal funds.

George Tiger didn't make a statement outside of court, but in the courtroom, appeared pleased with his sentence. He could have gotten three years in prison; instead he'll serve one year and then two years of probation. The judge gave Tiger less time because of his history of tribal service, lack of a criminal past, and failing health.

In court, Tiger said, "I failed to listen to my heart and the teachings of my elders. I knew I was doing things that were wrong."

The U.S. Attorney's Office previously said Tiger was working as an agent for the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town at the time of the bribery. The indictment said Tiger served as the Chairman of the Economic Development Authority Board and demanded bribes during a series of transactions for the town.

Tiger was a small part of a larger conspiracy that led to losses of $1.3 million dollars for the Alabama-Quassarte Tribe, beginning in 2007.

Creek Tribal Member Jessina Brown thought the sentence was too easy.

"We're kind of just slapping him on the hand, and saying that's okay," Brown said.

Chief Nelson Harjo, Alabama-Quassarte Tribe, said, "There's no college funds, really no money to rehab our elderly housing, no money to build housing, not enough money to take care of our people as a whole. This money would have helped establish money for a tribe that could have lasted generations."

Currently, Tiger remains out of custody during a short appeal window. The Bureau of prisons is also making decisions about where to hold him.

The judge in the case accepted a recommendation from Tiger’s attorney that he be recommended for a Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

The main figure in the embezzlement was a man named Aaron Terry. The judge gave him seven years in prison and an order to pay $1.25 million in restitution.