Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Albuquerque federal court, Jennifer Secatero, 34, was sentenced to three years probation for her conviction for embezzling funds belonging to an Indian tribal organization. Secatero, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who now resides in Rio Rancho, N.M., also was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to the Alamo Navajo School Board (ANSB), the victim of her criminal activity.
Secatero pled guilty to a criminal information charging her with embezzlement and theft of more than $18,000 from an Indian tribal organization on July 19, 2011. U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Secatero was employed by the ANSB when she committed the offense.
According to court records, between July 2006 and January 2007, Secatero used ANSB purchase orders at Walmart stores to purchase items for her personal use that did not benefit the ANSB. Secatero admitted that she illegally used ANSB purchase orders on 156 separate occasions at Walmart stores located in Albuquerque, Belen, Grants, Los Lunas, Ruidoso Downs and Socorro during a six-month period. In aggregate, Secatero stole $18,035.42 from the ANSB.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Rozzoni.