Former Borrego Pass school board president pleads guilty to embezzlement
The former board president of the tiny Borrego Pass School has entered a guilty plea to federal charges of embezzlement.
Fernie Yazzie faces a maximum five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
In a plea bargain accepted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico, Yazzie admitted to using a school debit card to run up $53,000 in purchases for himself or others, including meals, movie tickets, domestic items and gift cards.
The original complaint listed purchases totaling over $200,000.
The questionable purchases were originally brought to the attention of the Department of Diné Education, which, after investigating, turned the evidence over to United States prosecutors since the school is a BIE school.
The K-8 school has 105 students. It had been a grant school but was ceded back to the BIE several years ago after the misappropriation allegations surfaced.