Former Passamaquoddy Environmental Director Sentenced for Stealing from Tribe
68-year-old Stephen E. Crawford, who had originally claimed he was fired as an administrator at Pleasant Point because he's not Native, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to for stealing and embezzling funds from the Passamaquoddy Tribe.
United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II says Crawford, who now lives in Beaufort, North Carolina, was sentenced by Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. to one year of probation. Crawford has already paid $26,373.72 in restitution in advance of the sentencing.
From February 2003 and February 2012, Crawford served as the tribe’s environmental director. Between 2006 and 2012, prosecutors say he obtained and stole over $25,000 from the tribe by submitting fraudulent travel expense reports and supporting documentation.
In imposing the probationary sentence, Judge Woodcock noted that the defendant was now a federal felon, had lost his job and career and reputation, and would be barred from working on federal contracts for a period of time. Judge Woodcock said that the fact that the defendant had paid full restitution before sentencing also played a significant role in his determination of the appropriate sentence.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General.
Before working for the tribe, Crawford helped design and manage the nori seaweed farm at Cobscook Bay. His background is in zoology and water treatment systems. In North Carolina he worked on research regarding extracting oil from greenhouse-grown algae.
Crawford had claimed he was let go in favor of a Passamaquoddy applicant, something the tribal administration flatly denied.