Native American activist and former Oberlin professor indicted by feds over stealing grant money

This news has received almost no national attention and comes to us via the Oberlin Review, the official student newspaper at Oberlin College.

Former Oberlin Professor Robert Roche was formally indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and theft of government funds last Wednesday.

An Apache Native American himself, Roche serves as the executive director of the American Indian Education Center and is a prominent national activist in the fight to end racism against indigenous peoples. However, he may have harmed and stolen from the very people he has fought to defend.

Roche and his alleged co-conspirator, Craig McGuire of Cleveland, are accused of embezzling over $180,000 in federal grant money. Roche allegedly pocketed about $77,000 for personal use.

McGuire pled guilty in April to charges raised against him. The upcoming trial will be presided over by Judge Douglas D. Dodd. U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman, representing the Northern District of Ohio, will be prosecuting the case.

"Mr. Roche took tens of thousands of dollars earmarked for Native American children and families and put the money in his own pockets," Herdman said in a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

McGuire admitted to applying for a Circles of Care grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The grant was intended to support mental health and wellness programs for Native families.

On the application filed by McGuire, however, Roche made false statements, including the mention of a wellness department and a "positive paths" after-school program. The programs never existed and the money was subsequently never used to support Native peoples. Additionally, Roche supposedly fraudulently listed employees that were never hired and have never been associated with the American Indian Education Center.

Professor Roche is, of course, entitled to a presumption of innocence in court, but with the guilty plea of his alleged collaborator and probable testimony, things look bad for him.  I can find no reference to any advanced degrees he has received, so it is an interesting question as to on what basis he was invited to join the august faculty of a prestigious and wealthy college.  Were the same standards applied to him as to their faculty candidates?

Note that Roche has been deeply involved in self-righteous posturing that has produced no benefit for Native Americans.

[He] was a key speaker in the Oberlin campaign to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

Roche was also instrumental in organizing protests against Cleveland's professional baseball team's Chief Wahoo logo. He argued that the symbol continued to perpetuate the dehumanization of Native Americans. 

Given the prominence of Oberlin College in every crazy fad of the left, no wonder the MSM are doing their best to ignore this embarrassing trial.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol