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Blackbear 09-15-2005 08:20 PM

Prison Sentence Urged For Fake Indian Claim
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Prison Sentence Urged For Fake Indian Claim

Ronald Roberts, 57, of Granville used false documents in bid to gain federal
recognition of tribe
By _MICHELE MORGAN BOLTON_ (mailto:[email protected]) , Staff writer
First published: Wednesday, September 14, 2005
ALBANY -- The first person ever prosecuted for faking documents to get
federal acknowledgment of a purported Indian tribe could earn prison time, now
that an appeals court has kicked his case back for resentencing.
Washington County slate salesman Ronald Roberts, 57, of Granville -- also
known as Sachem Golden Eagle -- was sentenced to home detention and probation
in June 2004, after pleading guilty to reduced counts of fraud and perjury six
days into his federal trial.
Roberts admitted using false documents to support his 1997 request to
President Clinton and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs for recognition of the
Western Mohegan tribe.
After faking his own genealogy, a grandfather's death certificate and the
1845 state census, he also admitted perjury for using his son's Social Security
number in an unrelated 1996 bankruptcy filing.
Roberts, who claims American Indian heritage, sought the tribal designation
so he could open a casino in Ellenville, bankrolled by millions of dollars
from out-of-town investors, federal prosecutors said.
Now, U.S. Inspector General Earl E. Devaney wants to make an example of
Roberts, asking U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn in a letter included in the
case file to hold him accountable for his crimes.
Although Roberts could face 15 to 21 months behind bars, his attorney,
Edward Z. Menkin of Syracuse, says Roberts has suffered enough: "He was convicted
almost two years ago of nonviolent crimes which occurred between eight and
nine years ago. He has already served six months of home confinement ... and he
has been publicly (and widely) humiliated."
Roberts is also recovering from a car accident, Menkin said.
A federal appeals court on July 6 sent the case back to Albany after
prosecutors claimed Roberts' sentencing was erroneous. The appeal was pending in
January when the Supreme Court held, in United States vs. Booker, federal
sentencing guidelines are advisory, not mandatory.
In a memorandum to Kahn, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Storch asked the
judge to remember the economic motivation for Roberts' crimes, as he issues a
sentence. Roberts tried to extort his way into a relationship with the Mohegan
Tribe of Connecticut by threatening a public feud that could threaten the
group's public financing, Storch said.
"Moreover ... Roberts' bankruptcy fraud was not an isolated instance of
misconduct, but a pattern of identity theft and financial fraud extending over
many years and numerous accounts," Storch said.
Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at 434-2403 or by e-mail at
[email protected].

natureluvr 09-15-2005 11:38 PM

What kills me is his defense attorney asking for leniancy citing that he has been through enough already. Poor baby!!! I hope they impose the harshest sentencing in their power.... Maybe it will give the other phonies out there pause....

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