Wakpala Man Sentenced to Prison for Embezzlement from Standing Rock Tribal Organization

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Wakpala, South Dakota, man convicted of embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal organization was sentenced on July 18, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Joshua Iron Cloud, Sr., age 39, was sentenced to six months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $23,980 in restitution to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Iron Cloud was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 8, 2021. He pled guilty on April 21, 2022.

According to court documents, between in or about March and May 2020, Iron Cloud embezzled, stole, and converted approximately $25,000 of monies, funds, and credits belonging to Oyate Community Development Corporation of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, an Indian Tribal Organization. Iron Cloud used those monies on personal items and expenditures.

This case was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri prosecuted the case.

Iron Cloud will report to the U.S. Marshals Service on or before November 1, 2022, to begin serving his custody sentence.

This case was brought pursuant to the Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities. The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include: the FBI; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

For additional information about the Guardians Project, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (605) 330-4400. To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.