Creek chief thinks FBI is investigating tribe

Okmulgee, Oklahoma (AP) June 2011

Muscogee Creek Nation Chief A.D. Ellis thinks the FBI is investigating allegations of corruption involving tobacco kickbacks by tribal employees.

Ellis tells the Tulsa World a dozen FBI agents came to the tribal headquarters in Okmulgee in April and focused primarily on the tribe's Trade and Commerce Authority.

Ellis says the agents also examined a tobacco warehouse once used to store and distribute Indian-made cigarettes that did not contain an Oklahoma tax stamp. He says about 40 agents are working throughout the Creek Nation and questioning individuals.

Ellis says he's spent three years asking federal authorities to investigate the alleged corruption. Records show 14 people have been charged with embezzlement or bribery by a tribal prosecutor during the past seven months.

Federal officials wouldn't confirm or deny the investigation.