ALBUQUERQUE ― The former supervisor at the Laguna Pueblo Superette, pled guilty Feb. 7 in federal court in Albuquerque to embezzling funds from the Pueblo of Laguna.
Marshall J. Cheromiah, 32, of Mesita was charged in an indictment filed Nov. 5, 2015, with embezzling approximately $48,953.47 from the Pueblo of Laguna. According to the indictment, Cheromiah was working as an employee or agent of an Indian Tribal Organization when he committed the crime between July 2013 and Oct. 2014, in Cibola County.
During court proceedings, Cheromiah pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that from July 2013 through Oct. 2014, he was employed as a supervisor at the Laguna Pueblo Superette, which is owned by the Laguna Development Corporation and the Pueblo of Laguna. Cheromiah further admitted that while working at the Laguna Pueblo Superette, he embezzled approximately $48,953.47 of money and funds belonging to the Pueblo of Laguna.
Cheromiah’s plea agreement states that Cheromiah was responsible for supervising the operation of the ATM machine and ordering cash deliveries from the Bank of Albuquerque for stocking the ATM with cash. In the plea agreement, Cheromiah admitted that, when the Bank delivered cash for the ATM, he would skim or siphon approximately $10,000 or $20,000 for himself, which he used for gambling, paying off loans for friends, and a pleasure trip to Las Vegas, Nev.
At sentencing, Cheromiah faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. Cheromiah also will be required to pay approximately $21,758 in restitution. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Laguna Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers is prosecuting the case.