Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pala Interactive's Jim Ryan Gushes For The Reporters

I would expect that there would be a large Christmas Bonus for Tribal Members since Pala Interactive is doing so well.  Thank you Jim Ryan.  I bet the tribal members of Pala are enjoying the tremendous benefit Pala Interactive is bringing to their lives.

Link to Article:




PNJ: recently celebrated three years in New Jersey’s regulated online gaming space. How would you assess Pala’s performance over those three years?

Jim Ryan: We are proud of our performance. Why I say that is because we entered the market a year after it opened without a brand and without a player database. To any onlooker, we were seen as an underdog.

However, we have quietly built our business and continued to improve our platform and add new games. We have been largely focused on our casino business and the casino offering has upwards of 300 games today. We were only one of two operators to introduce a bingo product and we offer bingo three times a week.

We have a very loyal customer base that comes and plays bingo but, equally importantly, that same customer base enjoys our casino games, so it is a growth driver. With the launch of our poker product in June, we are the only operator in the marketplace that has got casino, bingo and poker.

Equally with poker, which although has very small liquidity, it is already breaking even for us. So, in terms of overall performance, we have come from nowhere and while we certainly aren’t the biggest, we are far from the smallest operator. And in that respect, we are proud of those accomplishments.

PNJ: What about your performance in terms of revenue?

JR: We generally haven’t quoted the size of our business, but we do over $600,000 a month in revenue and we are continuing to grow at a reasonable pace.
Read The Full Article At The Link Above

Potentially up to $100 Million of allegedly borrowed money was invested by "The Tribe" aka Robert Smith.  3 years later the ROI is $600K per month.  What would it be if the money was just put in a savings account?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

First Rule of Embezzling Money

The First Rule of Embezzling Money from the Tribe is that you have to be a tribal leader imbued with sovereignty in order to avoid charges and jail time. This is where these Mountain Ute went wrong. They should have won (or stole) an election first and then no one would care.

Ute Mountain Ute members accused of stealing from tribe, laundering money through casino

By KIRK MITCHELL | | The Denver Post
December 18, 2017 at 10:02 am

Seven people charged in fraud scheme

The most severe charges were filed against Jaramillo, who was an employee of the Ute Mountain Ute’s financial services department.

She was charged with embezzlement and money laundering. She faces up to 10 years in prison on the embezzlement charge and 20 years in prison on the money laundering charge.

Read full article at link above.

Wow, I wonder who told her to embezzle and money launder or did she do it on her own?

Were the charges brought in order to scare these 7 to see if they rat on bigger fish?  Or is this much ado about nothing?

I don't have an opinion either way.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dig That Expansion

Pala Casino breaks ground on $170M expansion, new hotel

By Michele Parente

Pala Casino Resort & Spa will offer "super cabanas" in the expanded pool and entertainment complex as part of its $170 expansion project. The cabanas can be rented out for concerts at the outdoor Starlight Theater as well as private parties. (Courtesy rendering)

Pala Casino Resort & Spa, which ushered in the era of luxury Las Vegas-style hotels in San Diego, will break ground today on a $170-million expansion and extensive remodel.

A 10 a.m. ceremony will kick off the demolition of the current swimming pool, signaling the start of a multi-year construction project that’s slated to be completed in May 2019. The expansion will add a new 349-room hotel tower, a splashy aquatic playground and an enlarged spa, casino floor and parking garage. The current hotel and casino interior will also undergo a significant update.

Read The Full Article At Link Above or Below

Pala Casino breaks ground on $170M expansion, new hotel

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Mr. Jones

Pala Casino Tries to Keep Up with the Joneses with $170 Million Expansion to Southern California Resort



Gambling Sunny in California

The Pala Casino announcement is just the latest in a laundry list of resort overhauls in Southern California.

Pechanga’s current renovation is costing the tribal group $285 million. Construction is also taking place at the Barona Casino & Resort, Sycuan Casino, and Viejas Casino & Resort, all properties which are located in the San Diego area. Those tribes, however, aren’t revealing how much money they’re spending.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians says it needed to update its property to adapt to customer demand. Speaking to the pool area, which will be transformed to resemble a space typically found at major resorts in Las Vegas and to include bars, fire pits, and cabanas, Pala CEO Bill Bembenek explained that visitors are looking for a more luxurious experience.
Slow Rollout

Pala Interactive, the tribe’s internet gaming division, has been operating in New Jersey through a partnership with Borgata since the fall of 2014. has been one of four live websites under the land-based resort, the others being,, and

The New Jersey rollout was delayed for several years, while waiting for the arrival of PokerStars. But since the company’s poker site launch last month, traffic has been slow-to-nonexistent: according to PokerScout, PalaPoker is averaging just two players a week on average.
While New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement doesn’t break down internet gaming revenues by site, Borgata’s partners have generated $23.48 million in year-to-date income. Only the Golden Nugget ($33 million) has made more from iGaming.
Read full article at link above

Monday, July 17, 2017

NIGC Signals "Mission Accomplished" In Indian Country

2016 Indian Gaming Revenues Increased 4.4%

WASHINGTON – July 17, 2017- Today Chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause, and Associate Commissioner Sequoyah Simermeyer of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) released the Fiscal Year 2016 Gross Gaming Revenue numbers totaling $31.2 billion, an overall increase of 4.4%.  
“The success reflected in the 2016 gross gaming revenue is due, at least in part, to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s promotion of tribal self-determination principles,” said the Chair of the NIGC, Jonodev O. Chaudhuri.
In the 1970s rural Tribes began gaming, mostly as small bingo facilities, as a means to provide revenue and jobs for their people and to manifest self-determination. The same holds true today as is evident by 57% of gaming revenue being generated by small or moderately sized Indian gaming operations grossing less than $25 million per year.  For gaming tribes, revenue has become a lifeline to generate economic development and supplement moderate funding received from federal government programs and services.
Revenues are calculated based on 484 independently audited financial statements, comprised of 244 federally recognized Tribes across 29 States. The GGR for an operation is calculated based on (1) the amount wagered minus winnings returned to players and (2) earnings before salaries, tribal-state compacts and operating expenses.  Each of the NIGC administrative regions showed growth during FY16 with the following increases being reported:
  • Sacramento Region (6.3%)
  • Oklahoma City Region (5.7%)
  • Portland Region (5.1%)
  • Phoenix Region (4.4%)
  • Tulsa Region (4.0%)
  • Washington, DC Region (3.8%)
  • St. Paul Region (1.1%)
“The stable growth is reflective of a healthy and well regulated industry with a tremendous impact on local and state economies,”  said Chairman Chaudhuri.  “When Congress passed IGRA  almost thirty years ago, it expressly cited in its findings and purposes the long standing federal policy goal to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments; no other economic driver has been able to do that for Indian country as successfully as gaming,” he said.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Download the PDF here.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Online Gaming Lobbying Increases

New iGaming lobbying group launched in US

By Robert Simmons


The I-Development and Economic Association (iDEA) claims that it is “an association seeking to grow jobs and expand online interactive entertainment business in the United States through advocacy and education”.

It is made up of 17 firms representing a wide spectrum of the online gambling industry including: Amaya, Inc, Golden Nugget, Paysafe, Paddy Power Betfair, GVC Holdings, Resorts Interactive, Catena Media; NetENT, Sightline Payments, Continent 8 Technologies, NYX, Tropicana Entertainment, Gamesys, Pala Interactive, Vantiv Gaming Solutions, eZugi, and Ifrah Law.
Read full article at link above

Seems Pala's money is still circling the drain.  How's that $100 million online poker investment working out?  Everyone got per cap raises this year, right?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


3rd former tribal leader pleads guilty in casino theft - Des Moines Register

OMAHA — A third former Winnebago Tribal Council member has pleaded guilty to his role in stealing from the tribe's casino in Iowa.
The Sioux City (Iowa) Journal reports that Charles Aldrich entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Omaha.
Aldrich is one of nine former council members accused of a conspiracy to siphon more than $327,000 from the WinneVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa. Lawrence Payer and Louis Houghton pleaded guilty last month to the same charge: theft from a gaming establishment on Indian lands. They await sentencing.


The indictments came after an FBI investigation determined that while on the tribal council, the defendants had given themselves raises and bonuses totaling $327,500 directly from the tribe's WinnaVegas Casino Resort without approving them at council meetings. It showed that in 2013 and 2014, the nine were issued $87,000 in gift certificates by the casino and uploads to prepaid debit cards paid for by the casino totaling $240,500. These distributions were recorded on the casino's books as miscellaneous administrative expenses, according to the indictment.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fake Casino Chips

Counterfeiting Suspect Told Deputies She Flew to China, Vietnam for Fake Casino Chips: Docs

A suspect in a San Diego County Sheriff's Department investigation told detectives she flew to China and Vietnam to get millions of dollars worth of fake casino chips and labels for local casinos.
Deputies arrested Lien Do, Hao Nguyen and Ben Ven Pham on Christmas Day last year, after a detective asked a judge for a search warrant for Pham and Do's Garden Grove home.

At the casino, Sheriff detectives found $300,000 worth of counterfeit chips in the suspects' car.
"It appears that what they were seeking to do was convert those chips into cash and to walk out the casino with the cash," said District Attorney Prosecutor Daniel Shim.
Detectives found casino player cards for Sycuan, Pala, Pechanga and Viejas.

Read more at link above

Pala Interactive In The News

Pala Interactive debuts New Jersey online poker site


BY Peter Amsel ON June 07, 2017


Tribal gaming operator Pala Interactive has added a poker product to its New Jersey online gambling operations.

On Tuesday, Pala Interactive announced the launch of for both desktop and mobile poker players residing in the state of New Jersey. The poker site, which is currently in open beta testing, follows the 2014 launch of Pala’s New Jersey online casino and the 2016 launch of

-- Read more at link above


New Online Poker Room Launches in New Jersey

Pala Interactive rolls out New Jersey poker product

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Chief Gets Impeached

Tribal Council removes Cherokee chief from office

CHEROKEE, N.C. (AP) – A tribal council in North Carolina has voted to remove its chief for only the second time since the early 1800s.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council found Principal Chief Patrick Lambert guilty on eight of 12 articles of impeachment on Thursday, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

The articles of impeachment approved on a 9-3 vote of the tribal council included allegations that Lambert had used his office for personal gain.

Lambert was accused of signing a contract with Harrah’s Cherokee Casino to have the casino rent rooms from a hotel he owned. He also was accused of signing contracts without approval of the tribal council as well as improper hiring practices, including hiring an attorney for his personal benefit.

More than a dozen supporters of Lambert marched outside the tribal chambers after the vote to remove him.

He was elected principal chief of the 14,000-member tribe in 2015 with more than 70 percent of the vote. He had called the impeachment effort a “witch hunt.”

“What we just saw today was nine people,” he said. “How many people in this crowd support me? I think those nine overruled 71 percent of this tribe.” 

But Lambert, an attorney who served as executive director of the Tribal Gaming Commission for 22 years, said he would respect the decision.

“I’m not angry about the impeachment,” he said. “We need to stop fighting.”

Special prosecutor Robert Saunooke said Lambert cherry-picked the tribal laws he followed.
“There are no exceptions to laws,” Saunooke said.

Lambert and his attorney, Scott Jones, said the allegations were not impeachable offenses.

“There is no evidence that he committed impeachable offenses,” Jones said in his closing argument. “He’s done the best of his ability to provide services and protect the charter.Vice Chief Richard Sneed has taken over as principal chief.

The Eastern Band of the Cherokee has been led by 27 chiefs since the early 1800s, and the council voted to oust just one principal chief.

A unanimous tribal council removed Jonathan “Ed” Taylor in 1995, on allegations he solicited bribes and had tribal employees work on his homes and cars while being paid by the tribe.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Winnebago Tribal Council Member Pleads Guilty

Another former tribal leader pleads guilty in casino theft

The Associated Press

Another former Winnebago Tribal Council member has pleaded guilty to his role in stealing from the tribe's casino in Iowa.

The Sioux City (Iowa) Journal reports ( ) that 70-year-old Louis Houghton entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Omaha. His sentencing is set for Aug. 14.

Houghton is one of nine former council members accused of a conspiracy to siphon more than $327,000 from the WinneVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa. Seventy-one-year-old Lawrence Payer pleaded guilty earlier this month to the same charge: theft from a gaming establishment on Indian lands.

Prosecutors have recommended that Houghton also be sentenced to five years of probation and be ordered to repay any money he illegally obtained from the casino.


Former Winnebago tribal officer pleads guilty to theft


In July, a federal grand jury indicted Payer, Houghton, former tribal chairman John Blackhawk, Darwin Snyder, Thomas Snowball Jr., Travis Mallory, Charles Aldrich, Morgan Earth and Ramona Wolfe. Each was charged with conspiracy, theft from a gaming establishment on Indian lands and wire fraud.

The indictments came after an FBI investigation determined that while on the tribal council, the defendants had given themselves raises and bonuses totaling $327,500 directly from the tribe's WinnaVegas Casino Resort without approving them at council meetings. It showed that in 2013 and 2014, the nine were issued $87,000 in gift certificates by the casino and uploads to prepaid debit cards paid for by the casino totaling $240,500. These distributions were recorded on the casino's books as miscellaneous administrative expenses, according to the indictment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

California Online Poker Dead?

California Online Poker Efforts Shelved Indefinitely Very Little Chance Bill Will Move Forward This Year: Report


by Brian Pempus  |  Published: Apr 25, 2017

It’s been 10 years since lawmakers in California began looking at regulating state-licensed online poker sites. Nothing has ever come to fruition.

It was already unlikely that 2017 would be any different, but, according to OnlinePokerReport, California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, sponsor of the current online poker bill, has said definitively that there won’t be any action on it this year.

The debate could be restarted next year, but there’s no guarantee.

California tribes haven’t been able to come to a consensus on how to regulate the industry. Some don’t want PokerStars being allowed entry into the market. more at link above...

Monday, March 6, 2017

How Well Is Pala Interactive Doing?

It's hard to know how well Pala's online gaming business is doing.  But we can infer some things from the news.

From this article: - Will A Hard Rock-Branded Online Casino In New Jersey Flourish Or Flounder?


Latecomers have gained significant market share

The NJ online poker and casino industries consisted of far fewer sites in November 2013, the month when the first wave of regulated sites went live. And all of them have performed admirably.

Pala Casino launched in November 2014. Despite being a relatively unknown quantity in New Jersey, the San Diego-based brand now accounts for a significant portion of Borgata AC online casino revenue.

How much? According to the latest US iGaming Tracker report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, the casino has captured 15 percent of Borgata’s online market share, which translates into roughly $5.6 million in revenue generated per year.

You can read the entire article at the link above.

So, after an alleged $100 million investment by the Pala Band of Mission Indians about 4 years ago Pala Interactive seems to be generating about $5.6 million a year in revenue, at least in New Jersey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

California Online Poker Stalls Out

Online Poker Futility Serves As A Lesson To California Tribes On Embracing Technology In A Changing Industry


By Dave Palermo

Tribal leaders and gambling industry executives are pessimistic of success in getting online poker enacted in the two-year legislative cycle that began in January, largely because of lingering differences over the licensing suitability of PokerStars.

“There is no evidence that the tribes have reconciled that or even demonstrated a willingness to do so,” said Jim Ryan, CEO of Pala Interactive, an enterprise of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

“Everything I’m being told is that the legislators in Sacramento have been exhausted by the issue. So in the absence of a material catalyst I think iPoker is certainly going nowhere fast.”

Pala and the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut operate websites offering real-money gambling and social gaming, where players pay for credits to play casino games that do not produce jackpots.

“In the past 3½ years many tribes have provided social gaming offerings over the internet,” Ryan said, including several California Indian bands.

Economists believe the annual North American social gambling market is approaching $4 billion in annual revenue.

Read the full article at the link above for more information.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

More Murders - Daughter fears worst: Mom’s traveling companion dead on Soboba Indian Reservation

The daughter of a Hemet woman who went missing a week ago and whose traveling companion was found dead on the Soboba Indian Reservation said Monday she fears her mother was a witness to murder and suffered dire consequences.

Kathleen Ann Haney, 56, was last seen on the night of Jan. 22, when she drove her daughter’s friend, 27-year-old Kyle Nathan Cagey of Pala, to the Soboba Casino.

Haney’s van was discovered the following day, burning on the reservation. Cagey’s remains were found a day later in a riverbed east of Castille Canyon. He had been murdered, though Riverside County sheriff’s officials declined to disclose how.

“I think my mother was collateral damage because she was a witness to whatever happened to him,” Michelle Haney told KABC7. “My mother would have never given a ride to someone if she knew they were dangerous.”

Sheriff’s Sgt. Walter Mendez said last week Kathleen Haney was considered a “missing at-risk person,” and that detectives had turned up no clues regarding her whereabouts.

Michelle Haney said Cagey and her mother had gone to the casino so that he could obtain money from a relative, but that person was apparently a no- show.

According to Michelle Haney, investigators have assured her they’re following up leads, but they’re no longer looking for her mother on the reservation.

“I don’t understand why,” she said.

Anyone with information on Kathleen Ann Haney’s whereabouts was asked to contact the sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit at (951) 393-3529.

–City News Service - Missing woman possible victim of foul play

SAN JACINTO – A man whose remains were found on the Soboba Indian Reservation near San Jacinto was the victim of a homicide, and concerns were mounting today (Jan. 27) about the welfare of a woman with whom he was traveling, sheriff’s officials said.

The body of Kyle Nathan Cagey, 27, of Pala was discovered Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 25, in a riverbed east of Castille Canyon, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The cause of death was not disclosed.

Sgt. Walter Mendez said detectives had initiated a search for Cagey and 56-year-old Kathleen Ann Haney of Hemet a day earlier, after a car that the two had been using was found ablaze on the reservation.

Detectives have turned up no clues as to where Haney might be, classifying her as a “missing at-risk person,” Mendez said.

Haney is white, of average height, with brown hair and green eyes, according to information provided by sheriff’s officials.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit at (951) 393-3529.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Pala Interactive Rolls Out Along With Facebook App - Android and iOS Apps to Follow

Big News for Pala Interactive - Pala Interactive rolls out first free-to-play virtuals titles from Leap Gaming

Pala Interactive, the iGaming subsidiary of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, has launched five new virtual sports titles on its social casino site MyPalaCasino.

The launch follows a deal with virtual sports specialist Leap Gaming to add its portfolio of virtual games to the free-to-play site, with horse and dog racing, trotting, velodrome and speedway titles now live.

The games are currently available via the site and Facebook app, and will soon to be added to its iOS and Android apps.

The games allow players able to pick their favourite horse, dog or athlete and place a range of bets based on current odds and the competitor's performance history.

Launched in November 2016 to promote the tribe's California-based Pala Casino Spa & Resort, MyPalaCasino offers a range of slots, table games and skill-based puzzles alongside the virtual sports products.

The social offering is integrated with the casino's Pala Privileges reward programme, allowing players to collect points to redeem for real-world prizes such as games, spa services, food and beverages or hotel stays.

The initial virtual sports roll-outs will be followed by the addition of tennis and soccer games in the near future.


Pala adds virtual sports games to social casino

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Arrest Made

As reported in the news: - Suspected gunman arrested in fatal reservation shooting


SAN DIEGO -- Deputies arrested a suspect Tuesday in the fatal shooting of a woman at the Pala Indian Reservation on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Milton Trujillo, 34, was taken into custody in front of a store in the 44200 block of Margarita Road in Temecula, according to sheriff's officials.

Trujillo allegedly gunned down an acquaintance, 43-year-old Carolyn Cagey, with a pistol in an open lot in the 2900 block of West Pala Mission Road about 3 a.m. Monday. Cagey died at the scene, Lt. Kenn Nelson said.

The motive for the slaying and the circumstances that preceded it were unclear, Nelson said.

Officials did not disclose what led them to identify Trujillo -- who is believed to also live on the Native American reservation east of Fallbrook -- as Cagey's alleged killer.

Trujillo was expected to be booked into county jail in Vista on a murder charge Tuesday afternoon, the lieutenant said.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Homicide on Pala Reservation

Developing story,  not many details yet.  See links below.

San Diego Union Tribune - Homicide investigation underway on Pala Indian Reservation

By Paul Sisson Contact Reporter

Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a 43-year-old woman found outside her home on the Pala Indian Reservation early Monday morning.

Deputies from the sheriff’s Valley Center substation were called to a home on West Pala Mission Road near Chutnicutt Road about 3 a.m. by the Pala Tribal Police Department on a report of an assault with a deadly weapon. When they arrived, deputies found the woman whose body “displayed obvious signs of trauma,” according to a law enforcement statement.

Investigators have not released information on what kind of weapon was used, though several San Diego-area television stations reported that some neighbors in the area heard gunshots.

Anyone with information on the homicide is asked to call (858) 974-2321 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

NBC San Diego - Mother Killed in Suspected Homicide on Pala Indian Reservation

A mother was killed in a suspected homicide on a Pala Indian Reservation Monday, San Diego County Sheriff's (SDSO) deputies confirmed.

Sheriff's deputies were at the scene where the body was discovered outside, near Pala Mission and Pala Temecula Road. They received a call reporting an assault with a deadly weapon just after 3 a.m.

A deputy at the scene described the situation as "hostile." The tribe was upset that body was not yet covered.

The victim had another son who died four years ago, and the family had also buried a relative recently.

Fox San Diego - Gunman sought in fatal reservation shooting - Homicide Reported in Pala

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Indictments of Paskenta Officials - Any of This Sound Familiar?

Below is a link to another article on the indictments of John Crosby (former FBI Agent), Ines Crosby (his mother), and Leslie Lohse (hist sister).  Lohse was at one time the treasurer of the California Tribal Business Alliance which Robert Smith is Chair of.  I recommend reading the whole article but I will post an excerpt:

Gross & Klein LLP: Federal Jury Indicts Two Former Paskenta Tribe Employees on Embezzlement Charges


As detailed in the Tribe's related civil federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) complaint filed in March 2015 in the U.S. District Court,  Eastern District of  California, against John Crosby, Ines Crosby, Leslie Lohse, and others, they and their co-conspirators used vicious and callous methods of intimidation and coercion to maintain access to the Tribe's money, millions of which they stole in order to live a life of obscene luxury, while services to Tribal members went unfunded and Tribe members lived in fear of economic retaliation.

Any of that sound familiar?

Read the whole article at the link above.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tribal Leaders Indicted By The Feds

It will be interesting to follow this case and see how far shouting "tribal sovereignty" gets them.

Any of this sound familiar?

Red Bluff Daily News - Ex-Nomlaki tribal officials indicted on federal charges


A federal grand jury returned a 69-count indictment Thursday against three former officials of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, charging them with conspiracy to embezzle tribal funds, embezzlement of tribal funds, making false statements to federal agents and tax charges.

The indictment against John Crosby, 53, of Redding, Ines Crosby, 73, of Orland, and Leslie Lohse, 62, of Glenn County, was announced in a press release issued by Phillip Talbert, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California.

The tribe operates the Rolling Hills Casino located on tribal land near Corning.

The indictment alleges that between January 2009 and May 2014, the defendants, who had access to tribal funds, embezzled at least $6 million of that money for their own personal expenses. They allegedly sought to conceal the embezzlement by creating a false line-of-credit document and remotely accessing the tribe’s computers to destroy evidence. John Crosby and Lohse are accused of submitting tax returns that omitted the embezzled funds, while, Ines Crosby failed to file any tax returns.

The three were among four members of the tribal council were ousted by tribal membership in April 2014, which culminated in a prolonged armed standoff at the casino in June 2014, the destruction of computer records and the disappearance of a private jet owned by the tribe.

Read the full article at the link above

More: Former tribal leaders indicted on charges they looted $6 million from Corning’s Rolling Hills Casino

 My feed
Three former officials of the tribe that owns the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning were indicted Thursday on charges they embezzled at least $6 million from the tribal coffers and used the money to purchase cars, international junkets, gold coins and landscaping for their homes with such features as koi ponds and a putting green.

The 69-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Sacramento alleges that John Crosby, the tribe’s onetime economic development director; Ines Crosby, his mother and the former tribal administrator; and Leslie Lohse, Ines Crosby’s sister and the former tribal treasurer, engaged in a sweeping conspiracy to loot the tribal bank accounts, then lied to FBI agents investigating the matter.

The indictment follows years of controversy involving the tribal government and the casino. Warring factions in the tribe at various times engaged in an armed standoff outside the casino, went to court over control of the casino and endured a cyberattack that destroyed computer records – one that the indictment blames on the three defendants.

The dispute also included a lawsuit claiming wrongdoing under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act that named the defendants and more than a dozen others.

Read the full article at the link above


Tribe, Bank Rebuked Over Embezzlement Suit Discovery Row

By Christine Powell

Law360, New York (December 9, 2016, 4:09 PM EST) -- A California federal magistrate judge on Thursday called behavior during a discovery dispute between the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and a bank it has asserted claims against in its lawsuit accusing former tribal officials of a sprawling embezzlement scheme "unacceptable."

The Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians alleged that Cornerstone Community Bank, CEO Jeffrey Finck and parent company Cornerstone Community Bancorp aided and abetted ex-tribe leaders in misappropriation, and that the bank and its parent company are liable for breach of contract.

Read the full article at the link above