Ex-Choctaw Nation Exec From Pushmataha Co. Faces Bribery Charges - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ex-Choctaw Nation Executive From Pushmataha Co. Facing Bribery Charges

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MUSKOGEE, OK -- A Pushmataha County man is arraigned on federal bribery charges, accused of misusing Choctaw Nation funds and accepting improper gifts.

Former Choctaw Nation executive Jason Merida, 41, of Rattan, is facing seven counts, including conspiracy to commit theft or bribery of programs receiving federal funds, theft by an employee of a tribal government receiving federal funds, money laundering, and tax fraud.

Prosecutors say Merida went on expensive hunting trips and traveled on a private jet operated by Builders Steel, which was a contractor for the Choctaw Nation, and that Builders Steel also bought property for his family and guns.

The transactions alleged involve hundreds of thousands of dollars.Merida appeared in Muskogee federal court on Thursday and was released on $10,000 bond while awaiting trial, prosecutors said.

     A PUSHMATAHA COUNTY MAN IS ARRAIGNED ON FEDERAL BRIBERY CHARGES..

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[CG :1 KTEN NBC - L3 2-Line Locator 2\Former Choctaw Exec Arraigned\DURANT, OK]
      41-YEAR-OLD FORMER CHOCTAW NATION EXECUTIVE "JASON MERIDA" OF RATTAN.. IS FACING 7 COUNTS.. INCLUDING CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT THEFT OR BRIBERY OF PROGRAMS RECEIVING FEDERAL FUNDS.. THEFT BY AN EMPLOYEE OF TRIBAL GOVERNMENT RECEIVING FEDERAL FUNDS.. MONEY LAUNDERING.. AND TAX FRAUD..
     PROSECUTORS SAY.. MERIDA WENT ON EXPENSIVE HUNTING TRIPS AND TRAVELED ON A PRIVATE JET OPERATED BY BUILDERS STEEL.. WHICH WAS A CONTRACTOR FOR THE CHOCTAW NATION..
     AND THAT "BUILDERS" ALSO BOUGHT PROPERTY FOR HIS FAMILY.. AND GUNS..
     THE TRANSACTIONS ALLEGED...INVOLVE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS..
     MERIDA APPEARED IN MUSKOGEE FEDERAL COURT THURSDAY AND WAS RELEASED ON 10-THOUSAND DOLLARS BOND WHILE AWAITING TRIAL..