NorCal biologist pleads guilty to embezzling funds
EUREKA, Calif. (AP) -- A Mendocino County biologist is pleading guilty to conspiring with a member of the Yurok tribe who embezzled more than $800,000 in federal grant funds.
The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1iZIlkR) Ron LeValley of Little River entered the guilty plea last week.
LeValley says he did not know Yurok tribe's former forestry director, Roland Leroy Raymond, was stealing money from the tribe and federal government. But LeValley says he knew he was signing false invoices.
Federal court records show Raymond admitted to spending the money on drugs and gambling, instead of Endangered Species Act biological assessments on tribal land in Del Norte and Humboldt counties. He was sentenced last month to three years in prison and ordered to pay $852,000 in restitution.
LeValley will be sentenced May 20 and faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com