Engineer Indicted In Case Involving Proposed Navajo Nation FM
April 9, 2012 at 4:24 AM (PT)
The ARIZONA REPUBLIC reports that a federal indictment has been handed up against radio engineer JOHN PEGRAM BITTNER, who allegedly took money from the NAVAJO NATION intended for the development of an application for a new FM station in ROOF BUTTE, AZ and instead spent over $100,000 on "trips, legal and medical expenses, and child-support payments."
The indictment alleges that BITTNER approached NAVAJO NATION disease prevention coordinator ALFREDA BEARTRACK and represented himself as an FCC engineer with the expertise to develop the application. A federal grant awarded $320,000 to a nonprofit organization organized by the tribe to apply for the license in 2009, but BITTNER allegedly was already in financial trouble and allegedly moved the money into a bank account he controlled.
The indictment says that BITTNER never bought equipment and allegedly took over $130,000; a separate federal criminal case brought last month includes 18 other charges.