Former Oberlin instructor receives prison sentence on federal theft charges
[CHRONICLET] A former Oberlin College instructor and an activist for indigenous people was sentenced to prison for stealing more than $77,000 in federal grants designed to help Native Americans.

Robert Roche, 71, was sentenced to four months in prison followed by four months of home confinement by U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent. Roche previously pleaded guilty to counts of theft from programs receiving federal funds.

Roche also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $77,097.

"This defendant stole from taxpayers and betrayed the Native American families he purported to help," U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. "He took tens of thousands of dollars designated for mental health and wellness programs and put the money in his own pockets."

Roche served as executive director of the American Indian Education Center, a Parma-based nonprofit established in 1995 to support Native American causes in Northeast Ohio, according to court documents.

Craig McGuire operated McGuire and Associates LLC, a company that wrote grant applications and provided evaluation services. Roche entered into an agreement with McGuire and Associates in April 2011 to draft grant proposals on behalf of the AIEC.

Later that year, McGuire submitted an application on behalf of the AIEC to receive a Circle of Care grant, offered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The grant was designed to provide Native American communities with the tools and resources to design programs to support mental health and wellness for children and families, according to court documents.

Posted by: Fred 2018-09-01