BANGOR, Maine — The man charged with stealing $20,000 from the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to federal charges of theft and embezzlement.
By pleading guilty, Charles Fourcloud, 58, of California admitted that he embezzled the funds between May and August 2013 when he worked as finance director for the Washington County tribe and oversaw its $11 million budget.
A sentencing date has not been set.
Fourcloud has been held without bail since his arrest in April in California at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges May 19.
Members of the tribe did not attend the change of plea hearing.
Fourcloud, who has multiple aliases, was indicted in May by the federal grand jury on one count of theft from an Indian tribal government and three counts of embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal government. More than $5,000 of the stolen money allegedly was reimbursement for falsified travel expenses and $15,000 allegedly was reimbursement for falsified moving expenses.
There is no plea agreement in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Lowell told U.S. District Judge John Woodcock.
Although tribal officials checked Fourcloud’s references, they did not conduct a criminal background check. When they did, his criminal past and aliases were uncovered, according to previous media reports. He was fired Sept. 24.
The complaint filed in the case said that Fourcloud falsified his work history and references when he applied for the job in Maine. Twelve days before he was fired, Fourcloud used his tribe email to apply for a position with the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians in California, the complaint said. In his resume, Fourcloud said he had worked for the Passamaquoddy tribe since September 2005.
Fourcloud served 10 years in federal prison for similar crimes committed in the mid-1990s. He pleaded guilty in 1997 to conspiracy, money laundering, income tax evasion and embezzlement in South Dakota, according to a previously published report. As vice president of business at Oglala Lakota College, he devised a scheme that enabled him and a handful of co-conspirators to embezzle about $2.66 million from the tribal college. He was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for those crimes.
In the Maine case, Fourcloud faces up to 10 years in prison on the charge alleging the theft of $15,000 and up to five years in prison on each of the other three charges. He faces a fine of $250,000 on each charge. Fourcloud most likely will be ordered to pay restitution when he is sentenced.