published on May 22, 2018 - 2:33 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The former director of the Santa Rosa Rancheria Department of Education is being charged with theft from the Indian tribal organization—a part of the Tachi Yokut tribe, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Aurora Cuara, 38, of Lemoore,  is charged with submitting false documentation while she was director of the department in order to receive reimbursement for tuition, childcare, mileage and other costs of attending college between 2012 and 2016, however, she was not a student.

In an attempt to support her reimbursement requests, Cuara is alleged to have submitted falsified documents such as fabricated schedules, grade reports, and receipts.

The  program allowed Tachi Yokut tribal members to have their higher education tuition and other school costs—such as child care and books—be paid for by the tribe.

Cuara faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, but the sentence would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBI.

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