NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA — Two former Quapaw tribal leaders have been indicted on charges of embezzlement.
According to The Quapaw Post – Former Chairman John Berrey and former secretary Treasurer Tamara Smiley-Reeves allegedly misappropriated funds – or were involved in misappropriating – over $7-million of tribal money. There are a total of 18 indictments accusing the pair of embezzlement, conspiracy, abuse of office, and other criminal offenses.
Each indictment carries a possible 3-year prison sentence according to court documents. Last Summer, Berrey and Smiley-Reeves lost their bids for re-election by the tribe – and were replaced by Joseph Tali Byrd and Guy Barker.
A first court appearance is scheduled for May 6th. Berrey calls the accusations, quote – “made up” and “strictly political.”
He says he intends to prove them wrong in the court trial – adding he plans to run for the Vice Chairman seat in July to quote, “bring our people together again and heal the Quapaw Nation.”