Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Commercial Bribery Scheme at Pechanga Falsifying Job Applications.

Pechanga employee cheats employees of $3,000 each.
UPDATES: Choomchuen Zhou was arrested on May 1st. Now, we'll see who she sings on when trying to save herself from a long term in prison. Also, a note that this story was also linked to at on Sat. 6/21, after I sent notice to our friend Rob Schmidt. Thanks Rob, for linking to this story and helping get the word out about the corruption at Pechanga. We assume there will be a Larry Miranda story soon.

Mean Streets Blog reports that while Special Agents from the Riverside Office of the Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) were investigating several management employees of the Pechanga Resort and Casino, the Agents uncovered evidence that floor supervisor, Kathy Zhou, who was recently suspended from her job, was charging casino job applicants $3,000 each to falsify their job applications to secure employment.

Agents monitored a telephone conversation between Zhou and one of her "customers," during which she instructed the individual not to say anything to DOJ agents. Zhou admitted to the witness during this conversation that she lied to the agents when they questioned her, and was admonishing everyone involved to "keep their stories straight."

Zhou was arrested on charges of commercial bribery and obstructing a criminal investigation.

Employees embezzle, tribal members cheat employees, employees violate the law, young tribal thugs get nightclubs shut down.

Avoid Pechanga... Temecula... Avoid Pechanga


Curious said...

Who HIRED Zhou?

Overworked and Underpaid said...

I heard that she was Larry Miranda's hire, but I think that was just rumors because of his criminal activity and sort of piling on.

overworked and underpaid said...

I'm guessing the Internal Revenue service will be all over this too.

Have they looked into Pechanga's people that are claiming to live on the rez, but don't?

Union Forever said...

Where is the union in all of this? Are they in cahoots?

I found this site from a flyer here in Las Vegas.

This is a sad story.

Anonymous said...

There are several CPP members who have mailing address on the rez. however, they live off the rez.

How many of them claim tax exempt on major purchases?

Anonymous said...

There are several CPP members who have mailing address on the rez. however, they live off the rez.

How many of them claim tax exempt on major purchases?

Phil Cuevas said...

The IRS could care less about who lives where. They get their cut and like all government bodies (except the spy guys since 9/11) they don't share information between branches. The ones that might give a damn is the California State Franchise Tax Board.

If you really know of anyone doing that

Call the Tax Informant Hotline: 800.540.3453.
Fax the information to: 916.843.2060.
Write to: Franchise Tax Board, PO Box 1565, Rancho Cordova, CA 95741

That would really set fire to their bonnett.......

Phil Cuevas said...

Normally a company wants the best employees it can buy....

However, in this case it looks like the employees had to buy their way in! Just more corruption I reckon.

The customers are the ones getting short changed here. They expect to be going to a top notch Casino with top notch service but instead they are getting substandard employees with who knows what kind of "secrets" needed covering up....

expehanga regular said...

Don't worry...I actually went Saturday to Pechanga...not to gamble..I had $600 in comp money that I wanted to spend...I used to go to Pechanga every weekend...after reading this site..I stopped...but the place was empty..and it seems like every one that I talked to that were regulars are cutting way back...they all think that the tribe has fixed the machines not to win the tribe has to be losing revenue...and that should cut the per capita to the remaining thiefs that much less in time.... right??

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea for you all. Essentially when you cross Pechanga Parkway and enter the Driveway of the Casino you leave US governed territory. Many people who enter the Casino are not aware of this or the implications that it may have. Petition the city to post a sign informing people that they are leaving US Governed terrotories and see how much that affects their already dwindeling business. When you leave the US to enter Mexico there are signs everywhere so you know what to expect on the other side. Shouldnt Pechanga have to adhere to the same laws. It seems Mark Marcaro is happy to boast how Pechanga benifits from Tribal Soverignity, Shouldnt the public at large be aware of this. Comon lets start a petition and get this to happen.

Rob said...

If people are cutting back at Pechanga, it's because of gas prices, not the "corruption" you claim to have uncovered. From Las Vegas to Atlantic City to Foxwoods, attendance is down at most casinos.

O Pechanga said...

Our friend Rob is correct. Las Vegas is down, traffic on the strip is much easier to navigate.

Gas prices are affecting casinos, although, the majority of Pechanga's business is from a 30 mile radius.

I believe that we need to further spread the word about the corrupt activities at Pechanga, which will drive down the traffic even further.

expechanga gambler said...

Does Rob actually talk to gamblers on the floor...I do...and most think that Pechanga is fixing the machines to NOT pay-out...and with all of the other things that they lie about to make more money for themselves....who knows...maybe they are seems easy enough to change some chips in a machine...

'Amo'kat said...

Rob, you are right the downturn in casino business no doubt has a lot to do with the price of gas.

You imply that we haven't uncovered any corruption at Pechanga but I can cite one example that the tribe can't hide from and that is the fact that Chairman Mark Macarro testified to a United States congressional committee that the tribe wanted land put into trust and that they wanted to keep that land in its natural state to preserve irreplaceable cultural resources. Well the brand new state of the art Pechanga golf course is now on that property

Below is a link to the congressional record from the resources committee dated April 17, 2002 and the testimony is Macarro telling the committee that the tribe was not going to development of any kind on the property.

As I and other posters have asked, did the tribe lie about protecting that piece of land?


Mr. Hayworth. Thank you, Mr. Avery.
Chairman Macarro, does the Pechanga Tribe have any plans
for development of any kind on the Great Oak Ranch property?
Mr. Macarro. No, we don't. As stated in our application to
Interior/BIA, we stated or have designated there is no change
of use in the property, and the intended use and purpose is to
preserve and protect the resources that are there.

Mr. Hayworth. Without objection, we would welcome that.
Just one follow-up, and for purposes of the record, Mr.
Chairman, does the tribe plan to use the Great Oak Ranch for
gaming purposes or any purposes other than what you have just
Mr. Macarro. No, the tribe does not.

If I seem to be driving the point into the ground by posting this information multiple times understand that it really is a pet peeve of mine that golf has replaced part of my heritage.

Rob said...

No, I haven't talked to anyone on the Pechanga floor. But if "most" think Pechanga is fixing its slot machines, why are "most" continuing to gamble there? Why hasn't the casino experienced a 75-80% drop in attendance rather than whatever the actual percent is? Are Pechanga gamblers idiots who like to be fleeced by a crooked casino, or what?

You see? This charge makes no logical sense. Therefore, I suspect "expechanga" is exaggerating or imagining the problem.

Rob said...

Re Mark Macarro, I don't see any evidence that he knew in 2002 that Pechanga and other tribes would be building golf courses in 2008. Nor that he planned a golf course in 2002. If he changed his mind over the six-year period, so what? Changing your mind about something doesn't mean your initial position was a lie.

In fact, I don't see any evidence that the Journey golf course was built on the Great Oak Ranch property. Not adjacent to it, but on it. Show me the evidence of that first and then we'll discuss it. Make sure it's from a source other than this blog and its partisans, because I don't necessarily believe what you say.

Rob said...

How is it that I never see any of these inflammatory charges in the mainstream press? Michelle DeArmond reports aggressively on Pechanga; she was the one who wrote the Zhou crime story. Have you given her the evidence of slot machine-fixing? For instance, taped or written affidavits from the patrons who believe Pechanga has cheated them? What was her response when you presented this evidence?

Did you also present this evidence to the tribal gaming authority? The state regulatory agency? The NIGC? The Department of Justice? The FBI? How did they respond when presented with this evidence?

You see? Until you answer questions such as these, you're all talk as far as I'm concerned. Document and prove your charges or I'll conclude they have no substance.

Rob said...

By the way, the note at the beginning of this posting barely scratches the surface of what happened. Here are the facts of the matter:

Educating "Original Pechanga" about news

Anonymous said...

Rob, you are back & again attempting to cover up for your GOOD "PAID" friends.

Wake up guy, the facts have been presented to you many times & you turn a deaf ear& folllow the money!
We all know you are a PAID employee of, a propaganda machine for the tribe no matter what tale you spin. Yes, you are "news" site with millions of hits. We know your the best!

Just look at the facts "smart guy".

You really seem to know it all!!
As far as pechanga you got it all wrong.

Yes, Pechanga has become very corupt & lawless, trying to rely on guys like you to cover their back for a price$$. Do you get payed be the blog entry?


'aamokat said...

Rob, I will refrain from calling Mark Macarro a liar.

I will just post some more informatiion from the Congressional record plus some excepts from an article that apparered about the Soboba tribe wanting to annex some land in San Jacinto which has as a side issue the land that was put into trust for Pechanga that the golf course is now on.

In the article that appeared in the Riverside Press Enterprise on March 23, 2008 The author uses Pechanga as an example of why the public should be wary of tribes getting land put into trust.

FROM THIS ARTICLE: According to its stated purpose at the time, the tribe wanted to maintain existing cultural resources and native vegetation of cultural significance to tribal life, Silver said. Pechanga asserted in its application that given the "vast occurrence of cultural resources found on the site, no development is proposed."

Based on that assurance, the Bureau of Indian affairs concluded in March 2001 that the proposed annexation would not harm the environment. By early 2007, however, the tribe was building a golf course on a portion of the land, Silver said.

"This golf course development was especially troubling given the parcel's location within...the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan," Silver said.

In response, Pechanga's General Counsel John Macarro, wrote, "Once the land is placed in trust, a tribe has complete zoning and planning authority over it and can change land uses just as a county or city can change or update its general plan or zoning designations."


From the congressional record, dated April 17, 2002, Chairman Mark Macarro said the land they wanted to be put into trust was a half mile down the road from the Pechanga casino project, which at that time in 2002 was nearing completion.

Fast forward to today and if you drive a half mile, which is how far Chairman Macarro said the Great Oak Ranch starts at, down the road from the Pechanga casino towards the gated entrance of the Great Oak Ranch, at the half mile point is where the current constuction staging area starts.



Rob, go down there and drive from the casino yourself and you will see what I mean.

FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: Mr. Hayworth. Thank you, Mr. Avery.
Chairman Macarro, does the Pechanga Tribe have any plans
for development of any kind on the Great Oak Ranch property?
Mr. Macarro. No, we don't. As stated in our application to
Interior/BIA, we stated or have designated there is no change
of use in the property, and the intended use and purpose is to
preserve and protect the resources that are there.
The cultural resources in particular are also very
significant. Along the base of all the foothills there are
significant old village sites, dark midden soil area, cremation
areas and associated sacred sites, one key site which we
believe it appears the proposed transmission line would go
over, and a tower would come either near or on that site.
I think this information, from what I recall, actually
comes from SDG&E's own cultural resource sensitivity maps,
which I would like to introduce into the record. I understand
it will be open for another 2 weeks.
Mr. Hayworth. Without objection, we would welcome that.
Just one follow-up, and for purposes of the record, Mr.
Chairman, does the tribe plan to use the Great Oak Ranch for
gaming purposes or any purposes other than what you have just
Mr. Macarro. No, the tribe does not. Half a mile down the
road, if you have the briefing book in front of you, in Tab 1
there is an aerial photo and then there is a graphic, a two-
color graphic map. The smaller trapezoidal piece of land, it is
almost a square, not quite, is labeled as the Kelsey tract, and
our casino, our gaming operation, is on that piece of land
We are nearly complete on a major expansion of that
operation. In fact, that expansion will open up at the end of
June, and we have invested over $100 million of revenue and
over $150 million in loan dollars for that project. It is a
substantial facility. We are not going to be building a
separate facility or having any ancillary gaming purpose type
things just a half a mile up the road from that facility.
Everything is integrated on existing tribal lands.
Mr. Hayworth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Rob, there I have quoted two reliable sources independent of our blog here, the Riverside Press Enterprise and the United States congressional record that shows the golf course is on the Great Oak Ranch land, again if the golf course was just next to the Ranch property don't you think John Macarro would have said so in his response?

Rob, you seem to be biased against anything we say.

I hope you don't think what we say is just sour grapes because of that has happened to us

Please post your thoughts said...

Rob, a tid bit of reporting you may want to follow up on.

Did you see any press release when a Pechanga Tribal member and ex-tribal councilmen hit a 4 million dollar payout last year on a slot machine at his casino?

Nope you did'nt. I would think that this would be headline news. Bring in the patrons for the big payout at Pechanga.

When was the last time a patron hit any payout this big? NEVER!

As far a investigations from the DOJ, FBI and gaming commission, They are interested and are investigating. Indictments are being made. Stay tuned.

'aamokat said...

Does Pechanga have any other land on the side of the street, Pechanga Parkway, except the Kelsey tract, which the casino sits on, and the Great Oak Ranch?

So what other parcel of land would be adjacent to the Ranch?

I know that at one time the tribe was trying to get the land directly behind the casino, in some rocky hills, but the golf course isn't behind the casino, it is at the base of the foothills that chairman Mark Macarro says is part of the Great Oak Ranch property.

Again, Mark M's. brother John Macarro doesn't say the golf course is adjacent to the Great Oak Ranch property.

He says the tribe can do whatever they want with land once it is put into trust.

expechanga said...

You don't read very well Rob.. I said regulars...there are always going to be new people trying the Casinos...Pechanga brings them in by the busload..but you really don't see the "regualrs"...(people that go once or twice a week) going back anymore...ask the Valet people, the slot techs, the change people...they will tell you...a Casino still needs can spin it anyway you want..and the "regulars" that I talk to all think the same thing...the machines at least..have changed...why all at the same time?...don't say because less use...they ae supposed o be random...are you on payroll Rob?..oh and by the way...has anyone seen the new outfits for the poor Valet people??...what a joke...stupid hats ..and funny looking shirts and the 100 degree heat...maybe they are punishing them for something with those new outfits..they probably dared to keep the tips they made and the tribe wanted the tips!!

'aamokat said...

Rob, here is one more source that shows the Pechanga golf course sits on land the tribe promised the federal government that there would be no development of any kind.

Temecula city manager Shawn Nelson expresses his concerns about new trust land the tribe now wants because in a previous trust transfer the golf course was put on land the tribe said there would be no development on.

From a Riverside Press Enterprise article dated March 28, 2008:

In his letter, Nelson wrote that while the city has supported prior land transfers to preserve cultural resources and open space, one prior land transfer resulted in open space being used for the Pechanga Resort & Casino's golf course.

"These land uses were 'switched out' irrespective of the representations made in the federal environmental documentation," Nelson wrote.



'aamokat said...

I know our friend Rob is a busy man but I hope he does come back and respond to my posts, in which I have presented two stories that mention the land that Pechanga promised to protect and keep in its natural state part of which was turned into the Pechanga golf course.

He says, why hasn't someone in the mainstream media did any articles on what has happened?

Well, I don't know why except that maybe the reason is because mainstream media is more interested in what gets them ad revenue than anything else and maybe so far they don't think the story would get high enough ratings.

But the two articles I posted in my last posts above this one do at least mention what Pechanga did when they put in the golf course.

Interesting that the last article about the city of Temecula's city manager saying land meant for open spaces was turned into the golf course had a retraction of its original headline which was changed to the city is "wary" of Pechanga's new land transfer from the city is against the new land transfer.

Obviously someone, probably Pechanga, may have complained about the title of the article.

Rob, again if the golf course was on land adjacent to the trust land in question, don't you think they would have demanded a retraction about this point?

All Pechanga has said is that they can do whatever they want with land once it is put into trust regardless of what they told the federal government they were going to do with the land.

'aamokat said...

I don't expect Rob to see this in the near future but the Journey to Pechanga official Web site verifies that this golf course is on the Great Oak Ranch.

Below is from the history section from the golf course Web site:

The native history of the Pechanga Band of LuiseƱo Indians is deeply implanted in every fertile yard of Journey at Pechanga. The cultural heritage and connection to the land runs deep and is virtually inseparable. The very name "Pechanga" means "place where the water drips," a fitting description so in keeping with the beautiful and natural water features that abound on this magnificent course.

Journey is built on a portion of Pechanga’s ancestral land that has been their "home" for countless generations. This land is also home to "The Great Oak" – one of the largest natural-growing, indigenous coast, live oak trees in the United States and estimated to be anywhere from 850 to 1,500 years old.

To the Pechanga people, the land that Journey is built upon, and the Great Oak that stands upon it, carries meaning that far transcends mere physical presence. The Great Oak, for example, has come to embody the very identity and character of the Pechanga Band: strength, wisdom, longevity and determination.

The Pechanga Tribe’s devotion and deep "connection to the land" makes playing the course at Journey all that more awe-inspiring. So when you’re out there on the pristine greens, enjoying every exhilarating minute, take a moment to pause, breath deeply and appreciate your surroundings…you too will feel the connection to this very special land that the Pechanga people hold so dear.


Anonymous said...

What's the truth behind the rumor that the casino is not on reservation land but actually land that the Kelsey ranch donated to them? How does that work? Where does it end? I have a piece of property I'll donate; they can build a casino, brothel, and sell crack. I know it would be a success with alot of strength, wisdom and determination: I mean monopolistic government charity. Until I get my free money I'm going back to my trailer and shot up pick up truck with a pint!

Anonymous said...

What exactly happened to Gabe Pico?

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Anonymous said...

The employees have been robbing pechanga for years & some tribal people know all about it