The former Police Chief of the Swinomish Tribe has been indicted by a federal grand jury for six counts of wire fraud and four counts of theft of tribal funds.
Thomas Schlicker, 57, of Stanwood, served as the Swinomish Police Chief from 1997 until September 2014, when his employment was terminated. Schlicker is scheduled to appear for arraignment next week.
According to the indictment, between 2008 and 2014, Schlicker is alleged to have embezzled more than $30,000 from the tribe.
Schlicker allegedly set up a secret bank account in the name of the Swinomish Police Department without the knowledge of the tribal accounting department. The indictment alleges that Schlicker then deposited checks made out to the tribal police into the secret account and withdrew the proceeds in cash, which he then used for his own purposes. Some of the money deposited in the account came from the sale of vehicles seized and sold by the Tribal Police.
The indictment also alleges Schlicker used the Tribe’s Chevron/Texaco credit card to purchase gas for his and his family members’ personal vehicles. Finally, the indictment alleges that Schlicker turned in paperwork asking to be reimbursed for the purchase of a uniform shirt, when in fact the charge was for an entry fee at a golf tournament.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Theft of tribal funds is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.