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Federal Embezzlement Trial Begins For Former Choctaw Nation Official

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A federal trial is underway in Muskogee for a former Choctaw Nation official accused in an embezzlement scheme involving construction at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant.

Jason Merida was charged earlier this year with conspiracy, theft, tax fraud and money laundering. Merida is the former executive director for construction administration at the Choctaw Nation. Prosecutors accused him of using money collected from false construction bills to pay for hunting and golf trips, at least 52 firearms, a sport utility vehicle and cosmetic surgery for his wife.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial began last week and is expected to last about three weeks.

Six other people have pleaded guilty in connection with the alleged scheme.




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