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Former Chehalis tribal official sentenced for housing fraud

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TACOMA, Wash. — A former official from the Chehalis Tribe has been sentenced to a month in jail and more than $37,000 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to allegations that he defrauded a tribal housing program.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 55-year-old Hector Ray Canales Sr. was the chairman of the board of the Chehalis Tribal Housing Authority. He acknowledged that in 2009 he applied for down-payment assistance, knowing that he didn’t qualify because he already owned a home.

As a result, he wound up receiving $37,400 from the program — money that could have helped other tribal members.

Prosecutors say he has already repaid $24,000. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton issued the sentence Monday.