Former finance manager of tribal clinic sentenced to federal prison for embezzlement

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GREAT FALLS, Montana — The former finance manager of a Chippewa Cree tribal clinic in Box Elder has been sentenced to a year in prison for embezzling federal money provided to the tribe to operate the clinic.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris also ordered Theodora Ann Morsette to pay nearly $97,000 in restitution during last week's sentencing hearing in Great Falls.

A federal jury previously convicted the 60-year-old Morsette on three theft charges.

Prosecutors said she obtained $156,493 in unauthorized overtime, double pay and other extra pay between 2010 and 2013. Morsette testified that she was entitled to the extra payments because she worked hard and because her supervisor approved the payments.

Morsette has appealed her conviction. Court documents show she claims her attorney was ineffective at trial.

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