Tuesday, November 3, 2009
UPDATED: Soboba Chairman Salgado Indicted on Tax Evasion and Soliciting Bribes
UPDATE: The chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians has pleaded not guilty to accepting more than $250,000 in bribes from tribal vendors.
Soboba Chairman Robert Salgado entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Salgado is charged in a 36-count indictment with conspiracy, bribery and filing a false tax return. Prosecutors say Salgado accepted bribes from vendors who had business contracts with the tribe, which is based in Riverside County.
Proving that NO amount of money is enough the chairman of Soboba, who made over $280,000 in 2006 (according the the indictment)AND over $1.1 MILLION from 2001-2006 tax years is indicted for solicitation of bribery.
LATIMES reports Robert Salgado, the long-serving, colorful and often controversial leader of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, was arrested by FBI agents Friday on charges that he accepted more than $250,000 in bribes from vendors and hid his income from the Internal Revenue Service.
Salgado, 67, surrendered to authorities after being told that he had been charged in a 36-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles.
"The indictment alleges a long-running scheme in which Mr. Salgado lined his pockets with money from companies hoping to do business with the tribe," said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
According to the indictment, Salgado took bribes from four vendors. One ran a valet parking service, two had construction projects at the casino and another was involved in real estate purchases for the tribe. The documents allege that he told the vendors that if they wanted to keep their contracts or get new ones with the tribe, they needed to pay him first -- and that sometimes he made them pay his credit cards and personal expenses as well. Vendors were told to make checks payable to R.J. Woods Service, prosecutors said.
This now begs the question: WHEN is the Pechanga indictments DUE?