Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arrest made in embezzlement case with $1 million warrants UPDATED

Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander said they're also searching for alleged co-conspirator Ron LeValley, a senior biologist with the Eureka-based Mad River Biologists company. He also has a $1 million arrest warrant for burglary, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime. - Times-Standard

...Alexander said Mad River Biologists' employee Sean McAllister was arrested this afternoon at the biology office on Second Street in Eureka. He was wanted on the same alleged crimes as both LeValley and Raymond.

Alexander said the alleged embezzlements are related to spotted owl research by the biology company and other incidents, including charging the tribe for the cost of putting tires on a personal vehicle.
Field said the investigation into this case started in October when the Yurok Tribe came to them with information. He said the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office has had the full cooperation of the Yurok Tribe during the investigation....

Del Norte DA investigating former Yurok Tribe employee suspected of embezzlement - Times-Standard

The Del Norte County District Attorney's Office plans to arrest several people for an alleged embezzlement case connected to the Yurok Tribe.

According to Yurok Tribe officials, the office is looking for multiple people. Sources close to the investigation said there is a $1 million warrant out for the arrest of a former Yurok tribal employee who is suspected of embezzling from the tribe.

The story is developing.


Court documents outline alleged embezzlement from Yurok Tribe; former Yurok Tribe forestry director still wanted on $1 million warrant - Times-Standard

Court documents outline how three biologists allegedly used an elaborate system of fake invoices, false purchase requests and electronic bank transfers to embezzle more than $900,000 from the Yurok Tribe during a three-year period.

Officials with the Del Norte County District Attorney's Office traveled to Eureka on Thursday to execute three $1 million arrest warrants for suspects Sean McAllister, Ron LeValley and Roland Raymond. The men are accused of burglary, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime.

McAllister, 45, an associate biologist with the Eureka-based Mad River Biologists, was arrested Thursday while at work. LeValley, 65, a senior biologist and founder of the business, was arrested Thursday night after turning himself in to Del Norte County officials. Raymond, 49, the former Yurok Tribe forestry director, was still at-large Friday night....

The documents state that 75 tribal checks were deposited into a Mad River Biologists account from February 2008 to December 2010. The checks totaled $870,064.91.

Of the 75 checks, 31 were deposited and funds withdrawn the same day using a deposit slip reportedly signed by McAllister. Twenty-six of the check deposits were followed by checks being written from the Mad River Biologists account to cash, Sean McAllister, MRB Research Inc. or North Valley Bank. The remaining 18 transactions involved an electronic transfer from the account to LeValley's personal account, followed by LeValley writing checks totaling $123,352 to Raymond, the documents state.

The affidavit states multiple debits and deposits were discovered from the company's account to another account called MRB Research, Inc.

”Investigators will discover the MRB Research, Inc. account was used to further hide, transfer and/or disperse monies originating from the embezzled checks,” the affidavit said.

According to the court documents, a review of Raymond's personal bank accounts shows he deposited some of LeValley's checks and embezzled funds from other sources.

Shock, disbelief follow arrests: Biology community has trouble digesting embezzlement allegations

When news spread Thursday that a pair of respected Eureka biologists were arrested for their alleged roles in an elaborate embezzlement scheme, the reaction was stunned disbelief.

Many in the biology community contacted on Friday -- before information contained in the search warrant affidavits outlining the investigation was reported in the Times-Standard -- declined to comment for this story, saying they didn't want to get involved and preferred to let the legal process run its course.

All, however, said the two men's reputations are beyond reproach....


Anonymous said...

All the mad river bios projects need to be investigated by the DOJ. This group and it's connections to state and local advocacy groups have made millions closing recreational access,forcing conservation easements on property owners and negitively affecting wetlands and species. Most noteable is there expensive and failed management plan that have harmed the plover populations. One should note that LaVally told a real tall tale trying to cover the mlpa illegal maping that killed a whale in Medo county. His efforts on that rewarded him with a seat on the mlpa science advisory committee. More hush $$$$$$ one would conclude.

Anonymous said...

I believe thatmany beach and trail closures in the area have been based on LeValley et al plans. Time to review them all.

Anonymous said...

Mr. LaVally was forced today to resign from the Pacific Sea Bird group where he was in charge of the money. Wonder why? This guy is the figure head for all the anti recreation closures in Ca, Oregon and Wa. Mad River Bio has made many millions. Everything their hands have touched are in question as is everyone who partnered with them.

Terry DeLlamas said...

The haters come out in droves and start the mudslinging:

"Everything their hands have touched are in question as is everyone who partnered with them"


Someday when all participants play nice and fairly we might have a chance to work together for the greater good of mother earth.

Anonymous said...

Would agree with you Terry. Having worked for years with LaValley I can tell you the honesty needs to start there.

Anonymous said...

LaVally has cost fishermen, dairies,cattle grazers and rec users dearly. I think he needs to pony up 100K to get out of jail. He has the cash and we have ALL had to give it to him.

Terry DeLlamas said...

I certainly can't defend his actions, unconscionable as they be. Lying, stealing and coverups are indeed a sad legacy. I just would like there to be more working together for the greater good of all. Our planet and all of it's creatures deserve a better legacy than this polarized fighting.

Anonymous said...

Terry, I agree but the polarization is not comming from rec users, commercial fishermen and the folks, it's comming from the eco frauds like LaVally, FOD's Bay Keeper, and all the litegious orgs that have made this a life style. We all love this place so you need to tell your story to the NEC,EPIC,Center for Biological Studies,etc. AS they are the unreasonable ones that are polarizing our communities for their own gain. YES< I know some good does happy but much harm too!