Winnebago /Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced today that the federal grand jury has returned an eleven count indictment against nine former members of the Winnebago Tribal Council.
The members were each charged with conspiracy, theft and misapplication of funds belonging to an Indian gaming establishment, and wire fraud.
According to the Indictment, each defendant received an excess salary and bonus payments.
The Indictment alleges the defendants devised, executed, and aided and abetted the execution of a plan to receive additional funds without accounting for same through the payroll department of the Winnebago Tribe and without approving the distribution of such funds at a regular meeting of the Tribal Council.
The Indictment further alleges these distributions were contrary to the policies of the Tribe and the casino and that the disbursements were not approved by the Winnebago Gaming Commission.
Distributions to the defendants were in the form of gift certificates issued by the casino and multiple loads to pre-paid debit cards paid for by the casino.
The total amount of gift certificates issued to the defendants was over $85,000, and the total amount loaded to the debit cards was over $240,000.
When the distribution became known to members of the Tribe, the defendants attempted to justify the distribution by claiming the funds paid were additional salary to members of the Tribal Council to compensate them for additional oversight duties they were allegedly required to perform regarding the operation of the casino during 2014.
As a result of the actions of the defendants, the total loss to the WinneVegas Casino was over $325,000.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
FBI Supervisory Agent in Charge Randy Thysse stated: “These individuals used their elected official positions to enrich themselves and in the process betrayed the trust of their peers and those they were elected to serve. The FBI Omaha Division will remain steadfast in aggressively investigating those responsible for perpetrating schemes like this and will continue to pursue all allegations of public corruption.”
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.