An Ohio woman pleaded guilty Friday in federal district court to embezzling funds from the Gila River Indian Community.
In 2001, Sheila Isabell, now 53, was pastor of the Siloam Indian Baptist Church and applied to the community for a grant to construct a community building on the reservation. Community leaders issued the church a check for $122,946.
Isabell and her husband, Timothy, then withdrew much of the money from the church’s bank account and used it for personal expenses.
Isabell’s husband pleaded guilty to embezzlement from Indian Tribal Organizations on Sept. 25. He was sentenced in federal district court to three months in prison and three months’ detention and ordered to pay $96,253 in restitution.
Isabell will be sentenced April 16. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.