Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cross-Post How Tribal Leaders and Their Cohorts Can Steal Money From Tribal Members

This was posted at Original Pechanga Blog.  This is just an excerpt!  There's more here:  Full Article How Tribal Leaders and Their Cohorts Can Steal Money From Tribal Members

How Tribal Leaders and Their Cohorts Can Steal Money From Tribal Members

A first entry from guest blogger Free Range Indian is a piece on how tribal members can get bilked by tribal leaders and the gaming business entity for the tribe.  A primer of what can happen.

How do Tribal Leaders and Their Cohorts Steal So Much Money FROM YOU
First of all let us understand that even a trained monkey can run a casino. There is no genius involved. You put a machine in the middle of the floor. People put money in it. You collect the money. It is after the money is collected that the problem begins. One rule to remember here, Crooks go where the money is. It is very hard to be a thief when there is nothing to steal.

he first order of business is the development of policies that favor theft. Re-written constitutions and ordinances that only your attorney can understand and what they understand is that you have surrendered all you authority to them. Adoption of Management Agreements that are designed to get around the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) If there was ever a piece of legislation that legalized theft in Indian Country IGRA is it. IGRA is responsible for so many violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) because it does not provide for real oversight, investigative powers and authority or enforcement over Indian Gaming. By the time the attorneys and lobbyist were done with IGRA it was full on open season in Indian Country.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty then. 

How does the theft occur?

Manipulation of definitions as to what Net Profit and Gross Profit mean are the first order of business. Any time you question what the net earnings were for your casino there is never a straight answer and you are deemed as stupid for not understanding the financial report. So you have an Indian Gaming Authority (IGA) approved Tribal Revenue Allocation Plan (TRAP). It is supposed to protect you from dishonesty and allow equitable distribution of revenues in a manner approved by the Tribe.

So which is it? Is your share of the profits from the net or the gross? In a perfect world all of the revenue earnings of the casino should be deposited with the tribe then the casino asks for an approved operating budget for monthly or quarterly operation of the casino. What is left is the net earning and it is from these net earnings that the TRAP funds are derived.

What is the real life situation? Some Tribal leaders allow the casino management to determine how much money is sent to the Tribe as net profit. If management was truly greedy they would just expense you out every month and you would receive nothing. But they know they can’t do this and get away with it for very long.

You alone are responsible for what comes next. Management, along with corrupt tribal leaders, gaming commissions and accountants begin a systematic testing of what makes you happy. How much money makes you happy. They start with a number that is low and will keep it there if you never challenge them. You know that according to your TRAP you are entitled to 40% of the net earnings. (40% as an example). The math is simple. If your casino has a net of $20,000,000 per month then your monthly per-capita should be $8,000,000 and then divided by the number of tribal members of the tribe. If there are 1,000 members in your tribe this should equal a payment of $8,000 per month. But you are only receiving $4,000 a month. What happened to the other $4,000? More realistic, what happened to the other $4,000,000?

What happens after you discover the discrepancy and how it is corrected is now your responsibility. This is where the lies and cover up begins. We have heard every excuse and reason imaginable as to why your per capita is not what it should be.

New construction is probably one of the easiest ways to manipulate casino revenues. Is your casino stuck in continuous construction, remodeling and upgrades? Do you really need it? The real question is why is the cost of construction coming out of your per capita when it should be coming out of economic development. Even more the question is who authorized the new construction and the source of funds?

 Full Article How Tribal Leaders and Their Cohorts Can Steal Money From Tribal Members