Subscribe to the Blunt Force Truth podcast

Alleged Fake Indian in Cleveland Indians $9 Billion Lawsuit Admits Stealing from Indians

My culture is not your $9 billion lawsuit.

Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache and director of the American Indian Education Center, is planning to file a federal lawsuit in late July against the Cleveland Indians organization. Roche, who is also the leader of the group People Not Mascots, says the lawsuit will challenge that the team’s name and Chief Wahoo logo are racist.

“We’re going to be asking for $9 billion and we’re basing it on a hundred years of disparity, racism, exploitation and profiteering,” Roche told WEWS-TV. “It’s been offensive since day one. We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people.”

People who steal from people are the finest people there are.

A Cleveland man known for his opposition to the Cleveland Indians’ “Chief Wahoo” mascot has admitted to stealing more than $77,000 in federal grant money meant to help Native Americans, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

“This defendant stole from taxpayers and betrayed the Native American families he purported to help,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “He took tens of thousands of dollars designated for mental health and wellness programs and put the money in his own pockets.”

Robert Roche, 71, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from programs receiving federal funds.

According to prosecutors, Roche and consultant Craig McGuire conspired to divert money from the American Indian Education Center (AIEC) in suburban Parma, where Roche served as executive director.

Investigators say McGuire submitted false applications to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). According to prosecutors, McGuire falsely claimed that the center offered an afterschool program for 500 children and had a “wellness department.”

Roche has been under attack for a while by Native American activists. Especially in the American Indian Movement of Ohio. And here’s where it gets complicated.

Philip Yenyo is the co-director of Ohio AIM. As if to hammer home the division mentioned above, the group’s Facebook profile picture is that of a local American Indian with Clyde Bellecourt.

See the full story here.

Want more BFT? Leave us a voicemail on our page or follow us on Twitter @BFT_Podcast and Facebook @BluntForceTruthPodcast. We want to hear from you! There’s no better place to get the #BluntForceTruth.