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Associated Press, Published July 23 2013

Appeals court upholds verdict in tribal theft case

BISMARCK — An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a North Dakota man accused of illegally obtaining federal benefits.

A jury in January 2012 found Justin Yankton, of Fort Totten, guilty of embezzlement and theft from a tribal organization. He was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution and fines.

Yankton is the former secretary-treasurer of the Spirit Lake Tribal Council.

Brooke Black, who shared a residence with Yankton and their children, pleaded guilty one day after Yankton was convicted.

Yankton had argued in his complaint to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction.