PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The former manager of a construction business owned by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon has pleaded guilty for his role in a fraud scheme that cost the tribes over $50,000.
Thomas Valentino Adams pleaded guilty to theft of funds from a tribal organization, and has agreed to pay nearly $5,000 in restitution to the tribes. He also faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. He will be sentenced in federal court on Nov. 15.
Adams, a Nevada resident, managed the Warm Springs Construction Enterprise.
In 2018, Adams and Roderick Ariwite, another Warm Springs executive and resident of the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho, created a construction company called “Warbonnet Construction Services LLC” and used tribal funds to pay for that company’s projects, court documents said.
Adams and Ariwrite submitted vouchers for personal expenses and expenses related to Warbonnet. The tribes reimbursed them more than $50,000 for those expenses, according to court documents.
Adams and Ariwrite were indicted in federal court in September 2020. Ariwrite is awaiting a trial scheduled for September.