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.