Home builder sentenced to prison for embezzling Navajo Nation money

A Mesquite home builder was sentenced to 51 months in prison Tuesday for embezzling money from a federal housing grant program for the Navajo Nation, Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden announced.

William Aubrey, 71, also was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison.

A Las Vegas federal jury convicted Aubrey in May of two counts of taking and converting money and funds belonging to a tribal organization. The federal grant was earmarked for affordable housing for the Navajo people in Arizona.

A hearing to decide the amount of restitution Aubrey must pay will be held on Oct. 15 before Senior U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson.

Aubrey is to report to federal prison on Jan. 3.

“Persons who steal from federal programs cheat the recipients of those programs as well as the American taxpayer,” Bogden said in a news release. “As the prosecution of this case demonstrates, persons who steal from federal programs, such as HUD or Medicare, will be prosecuted and when convicted face severe penalties.”

The Navajo Nation is a recognized sovereign Indian territory that covers a large portion of Arizona and extends into New Mexico and Utah.