(LAS VEGAS, KXNT, ASSOCIATED PRESS)– A Nevada-based homebuilder has been sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for siphoning money allocated for Navajo Nation affordable home projects in Arizona and New Mexico for personal gambling, jewelry and thoroughbred racehorse training expenses.

U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson on Tuesday scheduled a Sept. 15 hearing to also set a restitution figure for 71-year-old William Aubrey of Mesquite.

Aubrey protested that over the years he built thousands of affordable houses for tribe members, and co-mingled money only to keep projects moving.

A lawyer representing the Navajo Housing Authority of Window Rock, Ariz., said Aubrey breached trusts and tarnished the tribe’s reputation.

A jury in Las Vegas found Aubrey guilty in May of two felony charges of conversion of funds from a tribal organization.

Aubrey’s lawyer says he’ll appeal.


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