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Feds Caught Stealing From Energy Firm But Totally Escape Prosecution

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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Ethan Barton Managing Editor
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Two unnamed Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officials faked documents in order to profit personally off a gas and oil company, but federal prosecutors decided not to charge them, according to a government watchdog.

A BIA superintendent and deputy superintendent backdated documents to approve a lease extension for an unidentified oil and gas exploration company operating on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, the Department of the Interior Inspector General (IG) reported.

“BIA employees then used the backdated … documents to submit a bill for collection,” the report said. “The oil and gas exploration company appealed the bill for collection, and the backdated documents were discovered during the solicitor review of the appeal.”

The BIA documents were backdated to appear like they were approved before the exploration company issued a notice stating that it was leaving the Indian reservation.

“Further, the deputy superintendent did not recuse herself from the lease extension approval process even though her significant other would have benefitted financially if the oil and gas exploration company had made payment on the lease extensions,” the report said.

It’s unclear what punishment the two supervisors faced. (RELATED: Obama Is Prosecuting Fewer Government Crooks Than Bush, Clinton)

“This matter was declined for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana,” the report said. “This is a summary of an investigative report that was issued to BIA for action.”

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