Thursday, November 7, 2019

Former Paskenta Tribal Leaders Found Guilty

Hat tip to the commenter who pointed out this article.

Paskenta tribal leader: Guilty pleas are 'vindication' for Tribe after millions stolen


The defendants are the former Tribal Economic Development Director, John A. Crosby, 56, of Redding; the former Tribal Administrator Ines S. Crosby, 76, of Orland; and the former Tribal Treasurer Leslie A. Lohse, 64, of Glenn.

The trio pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court, to charges of conspiracy to embezzle or steal from a tribal organization, as well as tax fraud and tax evasion offenses.

“The defendants used the Tribe’s accounts as their personal piggy banks,” said Kareem Carter, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “For at least five years the defendants took more than $4.9 million of the Tribe’s money and intentionally failed to declare it as income to the IRS. This resulted in a tax loss of over $1.6 million.”

Read the full article at the link above

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Bill Bembenek Gets A New Job

Danville, Illinois Casino Team Includes Ex-Pala CEO, Former State Legislative Leader


Another member of the Haven team will be Bill Bembenek. The University of Illinois graduate most recently served 10 years as the CEO of the Pala Casino Spa and Resort. His tenure at Pala, which is located about an hour north of San Diego, ended late last year.

The casino rendering Haven officials presented to Williams and other Danville officials looked very similar to the Pala casino.

Read Full Article At Link Above

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Sacramento Bee - What is a ‘California Indian tribe’?

Interesting article in the Sacramento Bee:

What is a ‘California Indian tribe’? How a proposed law unearthed a decades-old wound

AUGUST 05, 2019


Ramos used a legal definition for “tribe” outlined in the 2001 California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which states a “California Indian Tribe” must be federally recognized. If it’s not, the tribe must be in the petitioning process for recognition or be eligible to apply for the status.

That definition contradicts laws from 2004 and 2014 that define a California tribe as federally or non-federally recognized, as long as it’s on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission.

There are only 109 federally recognized tribes in California, with another 55 without the status, according to a 2016 commission report. Many of the unrecognized tribes either had their status terminated beginning in the 1950s under a handful of congressional acts, or were never federally recognized.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Slots Slots and MORE Slots!!!

Hurray!  More Slots coming to Pala!! So many Slots!!  Probably Class 2...doesn't require reporting to the NIGC or the State...Revenue probably doesn't have to be reported to the Band...but hey!  MORE SLOTS!!  I guess this means Per Cap Raise is coming!! YAY!!!  Cut a dollar - raise a penny...just good business.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Pala man saves dog from burning house

Jose Guzman rescued his dog from a his burning home.  The video has gone viral on platforms such as Youtube.

The news link has the video and more details.  More videos are on Youtube which I will post a couple below. Pala man saves dog from burning house


PALA (KUSI) – The fire that tore through Jose Guzman’s home in Pala destroyed almost everything his family owned, except for one thing, their dog.

In cell phone video that’s gone viral, Guzman is seen rushing past firefighters and into his burning home in a frantic search for his dog. Fighting heavy smoke, Guzman ran to the back and found Gabbana still on her leash, but crouched inside the bathroom, the only room that had not burned.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Guest Post - So, who is Robert Smith?

*By Guest Blogger

*I was emailed the post below by a guest.  The views expressed in this post are the Guest Author's own.  Whether or not all the alleged activities can be proven with facts will be up to the reader to decide.  Those familiar with Pala will have knowledge of much of this.

Guest Post - So, who is Robert Smith?

The government and fools have chosen to refer to Robert Smith as Honorable. They do so even with the knowledge of his far-ranging criminal activities. They do this either because they are the beneficiaries of his ill-gotten gain or simply admirers of power without regard of it source.

Robert Smith is the grandson of Henry Smith, the son of a German Immigrant who homesteaded lands adjacent to the Mesa Grande Reservation. Henry Smith was a persistent German who pushed the BIA so hard that they finally gave him Indian status as being a quarter Indian from Mesa Grande. He married a Moro woman and had Robert Smith’s father, Victor Smith.

The Moro family was originally from Northern California. Adolpho Moro, who was half Wappo Indian and Spanish, moved to Warner Springs. Adolpho Moro’s real last name is unknown. The name Moro was confused by the census takers with the name Morio which was a prominent Cupeno family of the time. It is how the name Moro came to be in Warner Springs. Domingo Moro was Robert Smith’s other grandfather and who also was without any real ties to the Cupeno tribe.

There was a real confusion as to who the real Cupa people are. They were notably peace loving and sharing. They considered the hot spring, Cupanga, to be sacred and did not engage in its commercialization. They lived along the Agua Caliente Creek where they blended the hot water from the spring with the cool fresh waters of the creek for various purposes.  The adobe village was not part of the true Cupeno village.

Several interlopers settled at Warner Springs in hopes of taking possession of the spring itself and benefiting from the hot spring baths and other tourist trades. These families included the Moros of Northern California, the Garras of Yuma or San Luis, Mexico, the Nolasquez families also of Mexico and the Barkers. Alexander Barker was a white man who married a Cahuilla woman and laid claim to the hot springs.

Domingo Moro filed an Indian Homestead no. 25506 and perfected his homestead in 1908 and therefore becoming a citizen Indian and surrendered his right to any benefits as an Indian person. The homestead is adjacent to the hot springs at Cupa. Domingo later sold the homestead for $20,000. Because of this action none of the heirs of Domingo Moro should have been allowed to participate in any benefits granted Indians.

So, these are some of the historical facts that surround Robert Smith. Most notably is the fact that he has no Cupeno blood. His mother is of San Felipe, a village that was known as a traditional enemy of the Cupeno people.

Is it possible that this tribal enmity survives even to this day? Yes, it is.

It is easy to justify your own wrongdoings when you consider that the acts are intended to harm your adversaries. It was common knowledge that Robert Smith’s mother was a thief and dishonest. She was  a known drug dealer and used her sons to do the same. At one time, the people voted to ban the Smith brothers from ever participating in tribal government. This did not deter Robert Smith from seeking and gaining power within Pala.

He became the Fire Captain of Pala and used his office to intercept information vital to the people of Pala and this his how he began his political ascent. Cal-Mat often ignored the will of the people by making side deals with the Smith family so that they would favor some of the malfeasance at the sand and gravel operation. In exchange they were given money, televisions, VCR’s and other treasures of the day in exchange for their loyalty to Cal-Mat. The Smith family successfully blocked any raise in the royalties owed to the people for more than 10 years resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss to the people of Pala.

Robert Smith, after serving for a short period on the Executive Committee, was elected chairperson of Pala. Although being illiterate, Smith was and can masterfully manipulate people and resources to his complete advantage. He is willing to use any extreme necessary for his own personal benefit, including murder, and without any regard for the people. To him people are disposable and often in the way.

With the election of the Robert Smith as chair, began the criminalization of the Pala Executive Committee. He was often making side deals and if an Executive Committee member opposed him he just kept the deal secret. He stole thousands of dollars from acorn sand and the propane business. He gained complete control over the distribution of illicit drugs within the community, an enterprise which he continues to this day.

He has developed a solid following of loyalists who are dependent upon him for illegal drugs and jobs. This is bolstered even more by family loyalty and therefore giving him an invincible block of votes at meetings and elections. This has given Robert Smith free reign and even worse, complete sovereign power. His sovereign power is respected by the United States, the State of California, local governments, the Courts and without regard for the heinous crimes that he has committed.
So what crimes has Robert Smith committed. He is a known drug dealer. That career almost came to an end when an ATF sweep of known drug dealers resulted in the arrest of 66 people including Robert Smith. The drug ring was suspected in generating moneys for terrorist activities and providing support for terrorists overseas. It is said the Robert Smith avoided prosecution by turning state’s evidence and assisted in the locating of other suspected drug dealers in this operation.

Robert Smith is suspected of either committing or participating in the murder of eight people to include the murder of Rainey Williams and the campground murder. This does not include the murder of his constituent drug users that made the mistake of turning against him. Many would find them themselves victims of intended drug overdoses.

Robert Smith was caught red-handed taking bribes from the wake board project. It was also discovered that he and the treasurer were receiving $10,000 each per month for the race track deal with no benefit to the people.

Robert Smith engages in the daily management of the Pala Casino which is a violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Casino maintains two sets of books. The Black Book contains the accurate record of the Casino earnings and the Green Book is the numbers reported to the people. The Black Book revenues are skimmed and distributed to Robert Smith, Howard Dickstein and others.
The Casino self-banks the atm machines and therefore creates a digital highway to move moneys outside the casino and making them free of the NIGC jurisdiction. These moneys are not reported in the Green Book and the actual location of these transfers is not known to the people.

There are a series of illegal loans taken under the signature of Robert Smith and therefore obligating the people to pay back these loans. No one knows where the moneys go. That is except for Robert Smith.

Rumors of Robert Smith’s illegal activities could fill a book. They are cleverly created and when challenged he simply screams sovereignty through his million-dollar attorneys. It is funny how attorneys are supposed to defend what is right but will often defend what is most money making. Oh yes, the attorneys are paid for by the people of Pala.

There are rumors of pay day type loan businesses which were established through a Montana Reservation contact. This was noted by several private jet flights to Montana. What business does the people of Pala have in Montana?

The Robert Smith “Black Credit Card” is a known commodity by vendors throughout the Temecula and San Diego County regions. The Black Card is the property of the people of Pala and whatever Robert charges on this card is obligated for payment by the people of Pala. If you don’t know what the status of a Black Card is it simply means that he charges any amount to the card without question. Yes, that means that he can charge a million dollars to the card and the people of Pala must pay the bill.

So why is it that the people of Pala remain loyal to Robert Smith? That is not entirely true. There have been wrinkles in Smith’s ascent to power. Former and well-respected chairman King Freeman often opposed Robert Smith. For this Robert Smith disenrolled many of King Freeman’s family and therefore rid himself of much of his opposition.

Robert Smith was openly opposed by the famous 11 who are now banned for life from participating in tribal government. The BIA refused to recognize the valid action by the people of Pala to remove Robert Smith from power. This was the final signal Robert Smith needed to fully realize that he can commit whatever crime he wants and not be punished.

Now his party of loyalists are governed by fear. Robert Smith can have you evicted from the Reservation just for looking at him wrong. He can have your  house bulldozed. He can punish your relatives as a message that you better keep quiet and not talk about him. He can take away your per capita. He can have you fined for entering your own Reservation lands. He can destroy or block your road to your property. If none of this works, he will have you murdered just as he did in the Joe Scott incident.

All these activities are sanctioned by the Secretary of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Inspector General, members of Congress, State and Local Governments, the District Attorney of San Diego County, the Sheriff’s Department of San Diego County, and the Courts.

So what hope is there for the people of Pala? Absolutely none. All the people can do is hope and pray for the demise of Robert Smith. Even that is proving to be difficult because his criminal cohorts are determined to keep him alive. He has had his veins and arteries scraped to remove blockages. We do not know if he has a real or artificial heart, kidney transplants or a liver transplant. We do know that he has undergone several medical procedures to keep him alive and able to continue his criminal activity.

The people of Pala are suffering a long and slow death. It is nauseating, suffocating, drowning, a slow poisoning, a death by a thousand cuts, deprivation and disregard. If you want to feel completely helpless and hopeless then just come to Pala. Correction! Come to Robert Smith’s Pala.

The people of Pala used to be good and caring. They still are. It may be too late for the people of Pala if Robert Smith is allowed to continue with his criminal activities. Yes, this is a cry for help. It is very doubtful that the agencies with the power to thwart Robert Smith will come forward. What is their price. I hear some sell us out for a mere ride on Robert Smith’s private jet while others are rewarded with retirement benefits beyond imagination.

The one known fact here is that Robert Smith will eventually die. We all do. How much damage will he cause before his death? As much as he can and as much as his mind can conceive. The people of Pala will be left penniless and no one will care because we let it happen to ourselves. Why would any taxpayer want to bail us out after we allowed Robert Smith to squander away billions of dollars? They won’t. Realize that. They won’t, and we will be done as people. Good bye to Pala.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Robert H Smith Background Report

I received the background report below on Robert H Smith.  The report was prepared using  I have not vetted all the information so I cannot vouch for its accuracy but I was told it was shown to a law enforcement agent that verified the information.
I will also post the Pala Interactive MOU again below since someone asked for it as well as other filings.

Below is a link to a news article that came out January 29, 2019.

Pala Interactive Launches New Social Casino And Poker For World Poker Tour®'s ClubWPT™

Jim Ryan, CEO of Pala Interactive also made some recent statements:

Jim Ryan: Biggest risk from new Wire Act opinion is payments

Friday, January 11, 2019

Pala Casino Replaces CEO

There's an article in the San Diego Union Tribune that I will post some excerpts of.  Please go to the link to read the full article.

San Diego Union Tribune Amid fierce casino competition, Pala replaces its CEO

By Michele Parente

January 10, 2019


Pala Casino Spa & Resort, which has been showing signs of struggling in the ultra-competitive San Diego-area casino market, has replaced its CEO.

Fred A. Buro, a casino executive and gaming consultant, was brought on at the start of the new year, taking over for longtime former CEO Bill Bembenek.

In March, Bembenek acknowledged to the Union -Tribune that an unspecified number of layoffs — coming amid its planned $170 million expansion — was due in part to the economic pressures from “an increasingly competitive Southern California casino resort market.”

Then in July, Pala’s VP for hotel operations said the casino had deferred construction of a new 349-room luxury hotel tower — the cornerstone of its development project — attributing it to a duo of mega-expansions at Pechanga Resort & Casino and San Manuel Casino, costing a combined $850 million.


Besides Bembenek, Pala’s longtime PR director is also no longer employed by the casino, but reports that Pala had terminated several other high-level members of its executive team and had cancelled its annual Christmas bonus to employees could not be confirmed.