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.


Anonymous said...

This is chump change compared to what Smith and associates have stolen from Paula Casino. Tribal members who ask for audit are ignored and disenfranchised, but the reality is that Smith probably diverted $100s of millions or more. Disgusting how minor monetary conversion is punished, but here in California, Smith gets away with EVERYTHING.

Anonymous said...

For now anyway but he will fall soon.

Anonymous said...

That's why the FBI investigation's at Pala are ongoing because there is so much money and bribes involved. Robert has made their investigations harder by using some of the millions he has stolen from the tribe and casino to pay off individuals to hide or protect what he has done. That just makes more work for the FBI and lengthens there investigations. They are of course helped by tribal members,former employees and former smith supporters providing documents and testimony on smiths actions. The day will come and it will come out of nowhere they will swoop in and take everyone simultaneously so they will have no time to run or destroy the evidence they haven't already destroyed. Mark my words PALA WILL BE FREE once again and after an audit and accounting of the tribes finances we will all be entitled to a fair share and will work on rebuilding what smith has taken from us and put laws/ordinances in place so this cannot happen again.

Anonymous said...

I pray for that day to come soon

JACKPOT said...

I just thought about something funny.
Wouldn't be funny if on a Sunday morning while Theresa Nieto is helping out at Church with Communion and all of sudden while giving the Host to a patron kneeling at the Alter as she reaches out with the plate under the chin she gets HANDCUFFED by that person and is led away and placed in an undercover car waiting in front of Church.
And she is gone forever and ever, AMEN.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she pays 10% of the money she steals from the Tribe to the Church like all good Catholic's due.

Anonymous said...

She's a good Christian girl for one hour out of the week the the rest she runs with the devil what a hypocrite it's all a show

Anonymous said...

she's a good catholic girl for one hour out of the week the rest she runs with the devil,she is what you would call a's all a show that we see through.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Theresa Nieto is advertising that she can be bought for a few dollars.
She really needs to be put away in prison for her evilness towards
legit disenrolled tribal members.
And for the people that think that she is a saint you should prepare
your self for her up and coming downfall.
Its a real ballbuster.
It will even include her short legged little husband who like to act tough around Pala but is nothing more than a home made tamale that's already been eaten.

Anonymous said...

It seems like that person that posted about an electronic fingerprint
knew what he/she was talking about.