$900,000 Allegedly Embezzled from Yurok Tribe – Arrests & Warrants in Humboldt & Eureka
update JAN 14 2014 Roland Raymond sentenced to three years in prison:
The Pacific Seabird Group (PSG) is a society of professional seabird researchers and managers dedicated to the study and conservation of seabirds. Ron LeValley was the treasurer of the Pacific Seabird Group. Effective February 27, 2012, he has resigned from his duties as the PSG treasurer.
MAJOR UPDATE MARCH 5: It appears that Sean McAllister’s mother is the “life partner” of Ron Levalley.
“Charlene [McAllister] is a Registered Nurse who grew up on the Northern California Coast with a love for the outdoors. Having served on many boards and commissions over the years, she was invited to join the Audubon board in 1999, and she is glad she said yes. The mother of a biologist/birder she was first introduced to the world of birding by her son, Sean. Sean introduced her to Ron LeValley, who has become her life partner and has opened doors into the natural world and its wonders.”
update 2/27 associated press has picked up the story: San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/02/27/state/n173306S40.DTL and KIRO Seattle http://www.kirotv.com/news/ap/automotive/3-accused-of-embezzling-900000-from-yurok-tribe/nK6y8/ and Orange County Register http://hosted2.ap.org/CAANR/703431ceb9e54ef59a493df79e81e2f3/Article_2012-02-27-Biologists-Embezzlement/id-94d634d850d342d984d663a9769c5bdc
update, T-S, 2/26, “Shock, disbelief follow arrests: Biology community has trouble digesting embezzlement allegations ” http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_20048801
update from the t-s, sat 2/25: http://www.times-standard.com/ci_20043580
update: interesting background from noyonews.net: http://noyonews.net/?p=4881
democratic underground: http://www.democraticunderground.com/11277918
via the Triplicate, Crescent City:
Warrants served in $900K embezzlement case
Written by Anthony Skeens, The TriplicateFebruary 23, 2012 07:17 pm
Search warrants were served on three locations in Humboldt County on Thursday seeking individuals and evidence linked to an embezzlement case involving the Yurok Tribe and totaling more than $900,000.
Most of the money is suspected of being bilked over two years by former Yurok Tribe Director of Forestry Roland Raymond with the aid of Ron LeValley, president of Mad River Biologists, authorities said in an affidavit of probable cause.
Sean McAllister, an employee at Mad River Biologists, was arrested when authorities served a search warrant at the business on 2nd Street in Eureka. Authorities also seized computers from the business.
the rest of the story:
Eureka Times-Standard coverage:
The Yurok Tribe:
Matt Mais, Yurok Tribe Public Relations Manager
Office: (707) 482-1350 ext. 306
Cell: (707) 954-0976
The website of Mad River Biologists has been taken down, though this is from google’s cache:
- Ron LeValley
- David Fix
- Sean McAllister
- Stephanie Morrissette
- Jessica Stauffer
- Kerry Ross
- Laurel Goldsmith
- Adam Brown
Ron founded Mad River Biologists in 1982 and is the company’s Senior Biologist. Ron is probably best known for his knowledge about the identification and distribution of birds along the Pacific Coast; he served for six years as a Northern California regional editor for AMERICAN BIRDS. A lifelong interest in marine birds and mammals was enhanced by a long involvement with Point Reyes Bird Observatory beginning in 1966, including serving as a biologist at the Farallon Island research station in 1968 and for two years during 1979-81. Among the many projects he has been involved in, Ron has co-authored and coordinated a training program under the auspices of the Pacific Seabird Group’s Marbled Murrelet Inland Survey Protocol. Virtually all of the Marbled Murrelet surveyors in California and southern Oregon have gone through his training program. In 1979 Ron founded and for 15 years operated an ecotourism company specializing in marine mammals and island biology. His travel expertise extends from South America and the Galapagos Islands through Baja California to Alaska, northern Canada, Australia and Africa. As a professional photographer, Ron has compiled an impressive collection (over 30,000 images) of wildlife photographs that he uses for presentations and publications. One of Ron’s outstanding attributes (and favorite activities) is sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with others. He is particularly adept at explaining complex biological principles in understandable terms, a talent that he brings to his report writing and consultations with regulatory agencies.
Ron graduated from Sacramento State College in 1969 with a B.A. degree in Biology and received his M.A in Biology from Humboldt State University in 1980. His affiliations include American Ornithologists Union (Life Member), California Academy of Sciences, National Audubon Society, Pacific Seabird Group, Point Reyes Bird Observatory (Life Member), and Western Field Ornithologists.
In addition to his work at Mad River Biologists, he presently serves as Treasurer of the Pacific Seabird Group, an Associate Editor for Western Birds, and California Coordinator of the Pacific Coast Joint Venture.
Sean’s zest for wild things was initiated during his childhood in northwest California. As an adult, his interest in the outdoors remained but broadened geographically, though ultimately he landed “back home” in Humboldt County for college.
As a birder-naturalist, Sean has been in the wildlife consulting arena since 1992 and with MRB since 1995. His expertise in the field is with birds in general, but especially with local threatened and endangered species such as Marbled Murrelet, Western Snowy Plover, and Northern Spotted Owl. Sean has assumed a key role in the MRB surveyor training and evaluation courses. His other regular duties include writing biological assessments, conducting field surveys, supervising field crews, managing projects, and writing proposals.