Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Picayune Chukchansi Casino Theft Trial Scheduled for March

Imagine the discovery that could come out of this trial. And what other interesting information can also come, like the disenrollment actions by the Picayune tribal Council. Picayune disenrolled 50% of their tribe after the casino went up. They are a group of tribes including Pechanga of Temecula, led by Mark Macarro, Redding Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria and Enterprise that has used "disenrollment" to consolidate both power and money. Pechanga has taken health care from elders and children and are keeping hundreds of rightful members of the tribe OUT, so that they can collect over $350,000 per year EACH.

A jury trial has been set for 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 29, in Fresno's U.S. District Court for Jeff Livingston, the former Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino general manager who has been charged with theft.

The trial will be held in courtroom No. 4 before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill.

Livingston was arrested on federal charges of "theft by officers or employees of gaming establishments on Indian lands" at his Fresno home July 24.
He has entered a plea of not guilty.

The federal grand jury indictment claimed that Livingston had used Chukchansi credit cards for personal use for a Hawaiian vacation and down payments on personal vehicles.

Livingston served as the general manager of the Chukchansi Casino from 2005 through early 2008, when he resigned and was replaced by Bruce King.

A spokesperson for the casino stated in July that the investigation of allegations of wrong-doing against the casino by Livingston began in November 2007 by the Tribal Gaming Commission. The results of that investigation were turned over to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Then a joint investigation by the State Bureau of Gambling Control and the FBI discovered Livingston's unauthorized purchases included a $20,000 down payment on a new Ford Mustang Shelby; a $5,000 down payment on a new Ford Fusion for the casino's former director of marketing; and a $7,000 PGA National Golf Championship golf trip package to Hawaii. The investigation led to Livingston's arrest.

At the time of his arrest, state Attorney General Jerry Brown's office said Livingston attempted to cover up the down payments by making it appear they were part of a 10-car purchase he made for a casino promotion.

Livingston could face up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines if convicted.
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