Idaho tribal leader pleads guilty on theft charges

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- An American Indian who rose to the heights of tribal leadership while in his mid-30s now may be headed to prison for a decade after pleading guilty to stealing federal money.

Kyle Prior of Nampa pleaded guilty Tuesday to using a bank debit card issued to a tribal foundation to enrich himself.

The 38-year-old is a former chairman of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes in southern Idaho and northern Nevada. Between September 2008 and July 2009, Prior was the executive director of the Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation.

It was while leading the non-profit organization meant to help indigenous Americans that prosecutors say Prior stole money intended to help enact a fish and wildlife program for four tribal groups from Oregon, Nevada and Idaho.

Sentencing was scheduled for March 20.