3 accused of embezzling $900,000 from Yurok Tribe

EUREKA — Two contract biologists and the former director of forestry for the Yurok Tribe are accused of embezzling some $900,000 in money intended for spotted owl research over the past three years.

Court documents allege the men conspired to charge the tribe for phony spotted owl surveys on tribal forests, and that the former tribal forestry director improperly used a tribal credit card to buy iPads, car repairs, gasoline, and cleaning supplies.

The investigation began when tribal officials went to authorities with invoices that didn't match up, The Eureka Times-Standard (http://bit.ly/wgQUnC ) reported.

Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander said the case involves federal funds.

Mad River Biologists founder Ron LeValley and associate biologist Sean McAllister remained in jail Monday on charges of burglary, embezzlement and conspiracy. Bail for LeValley was set at $1 million, and $50,000 for McAllister.

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