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Lawsuit accuses 78 current and former Navajo Nation Council members of fraud in use of funds
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) ' A special prosecutor has sued 78 current and former Navajo Nation Council members, alleging massive fraud in their use of $36 million in discretionary funds intended for tribal members in need.
The lawsuit filed Thursday accuses the council members of unlawfully taking about $36 million from 2005 through 2010 to benefit themselves and their families.
The council receives millions of dollars a year through supplemental budget appropriations to dole out to elderly Navajos on fixed incomes, college students, organizations in need or Navajos looking for emergency funding.
Any member of the nation can seek financial help from a single lawmaker every six months.
The civil case comes after all or nearly all of criminal cases against council members for alleged misuse of the money were dismissed.