State criminal proceedings against two biologists accused of embezzling almost $1 million from the Yurok Tribe have been temporarily postponed, allowing the U.S. Attorney's Office time to review and consider taking on the case.
Mad River Biologists' senior biologist Ron LeValley, 65, and associate biologist Sean McAllister, 45, have pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime stemming from their alleged roles in a scheme carried out by former Yurok Tribe Forestry Director Roland Raymond, 49, to defraud the tribe of more than $870,000 over the course of more than one year by billing for surveying work that was never done.
Raymond remains at large, wanted on a $1 million arrest warrant. He was last seen the morning of Feb. 23, hours before law enforcement officials arrived at his home with search and arrest warrants, according to Del Norte County District Attorney Jon Alexander.
McAllister's attorney Greg Rael, who also specially appeared in court Tuesday for LeValley, said the criminal proceedings were postponed and the next court date set for May 1.
”The District Attorney's Office believed that the U.S. Attorney's Office would be taking the case over at some point in the future, so they wanted to postpone any further criminal proceedings in the state case to allow (federal prosecutors) to review the case,” Rael said.
Alexander was not immediately available for comment.
Greenson can be reached at 441-0509 or