Cedar City man stole $176, 000 from tribe, charges say

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A Cedar City man was charged in federal court Wednesday with 22 counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $176,000 from a Utah Indian tribe.

The indictment accuses Jeffrey C. Zander of stealing federal grant money from the Paiute Indian Tribe and five constituent bands between June 2005 and March 2008 while he was employed as the tribe's economic development director and trust resource director.

Zander submitted several grant proposals to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which awarded the tribe money. Zander is accused of stealing the funds and other money in the amount of $176,698.

Zander also is accused of creating fictitious companies, falsifying invoices and billing the tribe for services not rendered or services that were already paid for, the indictment states.

Also, some checks written from the Paiute Tribe's bank account were deposited into Zander's personal bank account, the indictment states.

Zander is charged with 22 counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds, one count of money laundering and three counts of failing to file a tax return.

Each of the 22 counts of theft is punishable by a year in prison, the indictment states.