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Former MBCI tribal council member sentenced to prison

Roderick Bell pleaded guilty in June 2021 to wire fraud that happened in 2017. (Source: MBCI...
Roderick Bell pleaded guilty in June 2021 to wire fraud that happened in 2017. (Source: MBCI Website)(WTOK)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - A former member of the Tribal Council for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was sentenced Monday to 12 months and one day in federal prison for wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jackson.

Roderick Bell, 42, of Philadelphia, was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2019, for defrauding the Choctaw Tribal government.  Court records show, between April 2017 and October 2017, Bell forged hotel bills and receipts and submitted those documents to the Tribal government in claims for reimbursement for official business travel. Bell pleaded guilty to wire fraud in June.

Bell’s sentence will followed by one year of supervised release, and restitution of $11,094.15 to MBCI. Bell will surrender Dec. 6, 2021, to begin serving his sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein and Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Payne and was investigated by the FBI’s Jackson Division.

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