November 6, 2013

Probe continues into Maine tribe’s ex-finance director

Charles Fourcloud’s past as a convicted embezzler resulted in his dismissal at Pleasant Point.

By Colin Woodard cwoodard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A former finance director of the Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point tribal government had his first court date Tuesday, but a police investigation into his tenure continues.

Charles Fourcloud had been on the job for only a few months on Sept. 24 when he was fired, after tribal officials discovered he had an undisclosed past as a convicted embezzler.

He was arrested by tribal police for driving under a suspended California license – a misdemeanor – and banned from the reservation. That was the only charge he faced Tuesday, according to the Hancock and Washington County District Attorney’s Office in Calais.

His next court appearance is scheduled Dec. 17 in Calais District Court. Officials there would not disclose any additional information about the day’s proceedings and said they could provide public court documents only by mail, after receiving a written request by mail.

Calais attorney John Churchill said Fourcloud is no longer his client. He said he did not know if Fourcloud has a legal representative.

Mark Crabtree of the Pleasant Point tribal police department, which serves the reservation 20 miles south of Calais, said “We’re continuing our investigation and we’ll see where it goes.”

Tribal police say Fourcloud is the same person as Arlynn E. Knudsen, who was convicted for embezzling $2.66 million from a Lakota tribal college in South Dakota, where he was vice president for business affairs. He apparently changed his name multiple times after that, and was hired for financial oversight positions by tribal institutions in Washington, Texas, Maine and possibly other states.

After leaving prison, Knudsen started changing his name. A legal notice published in 2009 in a Spanish-language newspaper in Santa Clara County, Calif., noted that Arlynn Knudsen would change his legal name to Arlynn Eaglestar on July 28 of that year.

Later that year, the newsletter of the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency in Washington state mentioned that the agency had hired Arlyn EagleStar – a slightly different spelling – as its new chief financial officer. In an informal photo of the agency’s staff accompanying that article, a Passamaquoddy tribal source identified a man they say is Fourcloud.

Officials of the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe in Livingston, Texas, confirmed that Arlyn Eaglestar was employed as their tribal administrator from April 5 to May 26, 2010, “and was terminated for undisclosed reasons.”

Colin Woodard can be contacted at 791-6317 or at:cwoodard@pressherald.com
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