Published On: Thu, Feb 18th, 2016

Leatherwood embezzlement, theft case continued





Nell Leatherwood, former executive director of the Sequoyah Fund, was indicted on federal embezzlement and theft charges from the Sequoyah Fund in December 2015.  At her Dec. 2, 2015 arraignment, she was originally scheduled for trial in the Jan. 4, 2016 session which was pushed back to Feb. 22 in a separate motion.

Nell Leatherwood (Photo courtesy of Sequoyah Fund)

Nell Leatherwood (Photo courtesy of Sequoyah Fund)

Now, her trial has been continued again.  According to court records, “The Defendant now moves for another continuance of the case.  For grounds, counsel states that additional time is needed in order to review discovery, investigate the allegations, and to confer with the government regarding the alleged loss amount.”

U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger granted the continuance on Wednesday, Feb. 3.  A new trial date has not been set as of print time.

The Bill of Indictment on Leatherwood lists counts including embezzlement and theft from January 2010 to Nov. 20, 2013 and alleges, “Over the course of those approximately four years, Leatherwood embezzled approximately $900,000 through the use of the corporate SFI (Sequoyah Fund, Inc.) credit card for personal purchases and expenses.”

Leatherwood, who was initially hired by the Sequoyah Fund in 2006 and resigned in November 2013, faces the following charges as listed in the Bill of Indictment:

  • Count One – Embezzlement from an Indian Tribal Organization
  • Count Two – Theft Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds
  • Count Three – Access Device Fraud
  • Courts Four through Fifty – Making, Uttering, and Possessing Forged Securities

Court records state that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking a money judgment of approximately $965,000 in this case.