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Box Elder man sentenced in corruption case on Rocky Boy's reservation

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HAVRE, Montana — A Box Elder man has been sentenced for his role in a conspiracy to give kickbacks to Chippewa Cree tribal leaders and others in exchange for federally funded contracts to build a regional water system.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced Hunter Burns on Thursday to two months in federal prison and four months of home detention followed by three years of probation.

Morris also ordered Burns to pay a $100,000 fine along with other defendants. His company, Hunter Burns Construction, was placed on probation for 3 1/2 years and fined $25,000. Burns owned 51 percent of the company and James Howard Eastlick Jr., 49 percent.

Burns pleaded guilty on April 2 to conspiracy to violate the false claims act on a government-funded project.

Eastlick is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 15 for bribery and tax fraud.

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