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Monday, April 18, 2011

Former Soboba Chairman Roberty Salgado Sentenced to 41 Months in Federal Prison

FORMER TOP OFFICIAL WITH INLAND EMPIRE INDIAN TRIBE SENTENCED TO 41 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR TAKING BRIBES


LOS ANGELES – The former chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians was sentenced this afternoon to 41 months in federal prison for taking approximately $875,000 in bribes from tribal vendors and concealing that income from the Internal Revenue Service.

Robert Salgado Sr., 68, who lives on the Soboba Reservation near San Jacinto, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson. In addition to the prison term, which Salgado must begin serving by June 20, Judge Pregerson ordered the defendant to pay $226,187 in back taxes to the IRS.

Salgado pleaded guilty in October to two felony charges – bribery and subscribing to a false tax return. Salgado pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial in United States District Court.

In a plea agreement filed in court, Salgado admitted that he accepted a total of $874,995 in bribe payments from five vendors who did business with the Soboba Band. The payments to Salgado, which were made by vendors hoping to obtain or keep contracts with the tribe, were given to Salgado in the form of cash, payments made to his creditors and checks payable to an entity controlled by Salgado.

Salgado specifically admitted:

• receiving $486,152 from a vendor involved in the tribe’s $12.5 million purchase of a golf course now called The Country Club at Soboba Springs and other real estate purchases;

• taking approximately $184,000 in bribes from a second vendor who was awarded food concession and other contracts at the Soboba Casino;

• accepting bribes totaling $89,000 from a vendor who received a series of construction contracts from the Soboba Bank;

• taking $65,843 in bribes, plus “substantial cash payments which cannot be quantified,” from another vendor who received a series of construction contracts; and

• accepting a total of $50,000 in bribes from Abbas Shilleh, the owner of California Parking Services, Inc., which provided valet parking at the Soboba Casino.

In sentencing papers filed with the court, prosecutors asked for a prison sentence, stressing that Salgado “did not take one or two bribes. He took hundreds of them over the course of a decade. Defendant ran the tribe as if it belonged to him. Now he must pay the price.”

Salgado also pleaded guilty to a tax offense, admitting that he filed a 2001 tax return that claimed he and his wife earned $146,114, but in reality earned substantially more. In the plea agreement, Salgado admitted he also did not accurately report his income for tax years 2002 through 2006, failing to pay a total of $226,187 in taxes.

Shilleh, 47, of Diamond Bar, pleaded guilty last month and admitted he paid bribes to Salgado (see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/pressroom/pr2011/030.html).

Shilleh is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Pregerson on June 6.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS - Criminal Investigation.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the US Goverment looked over the accounting of many more Indian Casinos and their tribal leaders and investors/vendors they would find many more of these corrupt individuals. If they look behind the human and civil rights violations such as being denied the right to vote or run in tribal elections, education, housing and the per capta/revenue sharing of their members and including those affected by disenrollment, denial of membership, reclassification, moratoriums and banishments they are likely to find more unsavory actions by their tribal leaders.

Phil Cuevas said...

Was he sentanced today? The day everyones Tax returns are due? Now that's funny!

Anonymous said...

Wonder why salgados wife wasn't busted too?

White Buffalo said...

3 years and 4 months at "Club Fed" with all that per cap he will be in good supply of Instant Coffee, Soap a’s or Top Ramon’s, get the Chile flavored one's their the bomb and plenty of soap for those three o’clock showers with your friends.

smokeybear said...

WHAT HAVE I BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG? THAT GOOD OLD "TAX EVAISION"AND THE "MACARRO CARTEL". I WAS MAINLY TALKING ABOUT STATE TAX AND LIVING OFF THE REZ, BUT HELL, WHY NOT FEDERAL? THAT'S WHAT TOOKDOWN AL CAPONE, WHEN NOTHING ELSE COULD. WONDER WHO DROPPED THE "DIME".

Anonymous said...

The funny part about all this is that a neighboring tribal chairman, by the name of "Mark Macarro", has accepted even more perks of the bribery world. How is it that he lives on "Millionaire's Row" in Temecula? Yes he receives (per capita) but not enough to truly live a life of a millionaire, overrides all by-laws(for personal advantage) and simply is not a direct descendant of any true original Luiseno/Mission Indian. Every time a new contract(any) is approved for Pechanga, he seems to get wealthier. And this all happens under the eyes of the alphabet bandits (FBI, IRS, BIA etc.). He needs to be fully investigated for his wrong doing. He is a so-called (Native) who does not even deserve a proper Native burial when his day comes(and believe me he will be pissed on him when that day comes). But yet Robert Salgado gets all the attention for a small portion of what Mark Macarro really does...

Anonymous said...

Chairman Macarro makes a good salary as chair, over $100K as well as per capita that went as high as $360K per year.
He also has a successful second wife, who is a principal in a company the tribe pays VERY well.
He can afford to live in an expensive home very easily.

Anonymous said...

did you know that mark and the council hired holly's law firm with the tribes knowledge. the tribe still thinks holinknight still handels there legal matters. His brother john is the legal advisor for Pechanga and he dosnt have a license to practice law. Nepotism yah how much kick back is he getting.

Anonymous said...

did you know that mark and the council hired holly's law firm without the tribes knowledge. the tribe still thinks holinknight still handels there legal matters. His brother john is the legal advisor for Pechanga and he dosnt have a license to practice law. Nepotism yah how much kick back is he getting.

Anonymous said...

Some of us knew, outside the tribe, even when most INSIDE the tribe did not.
Shine a light on the roaches.

Anonymous said...

Did Mark Macarro win the water lawsuit.
We heard that they are infuriated about that.

Anonymous said...

As far as i know congress is try to see that it done fairly. The water bill is for all allottees. When mark told congress that all allottees where still inrolled and congress found out he lied that opened the can of worms. the bill says the the moneys go to tribal inter structor. now if you are a allottee that has been disinrolled how do you get the benifits. the water bill is written for allottes not tribal members. So this is the problem how does congress handel disenrolled allottees that are not members. and the rezervation was form from the allottees.

smokeybear said...

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. THE "MACARRO CARTEL" SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR BRIBERY. WE KNOW IT'S THERE, JUST HAVE TO FIND IT. CAN'T MAKE IT GO AWAY, AS MUCH AS JOHN MACARRO TRYS TO COVER IT UP. IS THAT TRUE THAT JOHN MACARRO ISN'T LEGAL TO PRACTICE LAW? BOY CONSTANTLY DOING SHADDY DEALINGS AND NOBODY IS SUPPOSED TO FIND OUT.

Anonymous said...

It's true john macarro does not have a california license to pratice law. look him up on the california bar. he could not pass his bar exam.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this will turn out to be a life sentence for Bobby.

'aamokat said...

I remember when the Soboba tribal council were the guests at a Pechanga general membership meeting and Mark Macarro said that Bobby Salgado was his mentor.

Makes you wonder what Bobby taught Mark M.

Anonymous said...

do not think it is his inability to pass exam; more likely complaints of moral turpitude would draw attention to his disbarment