The Press Enterprise has a story on identity theft of a per capita check for the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Here's that story:
A recent identity theft case in which a Pechanga tribal member’s monthly casino profits check was stolen casts some light on a topic of much speculation by outsiders.
How much does each tribal member receive?
According to court records, it’s about $13,000 a month, or, about $156,000 a year. OP: Our last year in the tribe, 2005 we earned $268,000 and that includes bonuses. A year later, drunk Pechanga youth were bragging about earning over $30,000 per month.
In years past, the per capita payments were apparently higher.
Each adult tribal member received a benefit of more than $250,000 per year in 2006, according to a 2009 opinion from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
That case involved a claim filed by sixteen people stripped of their membership in the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in 2006 after their tribal lineage was disputed. OP: Disputed, yet proven by Pechanga's own hired experts.
In the recent identity theft case, investigated by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, tribal member Robert Freeman told sheriff’s officials that he went to pick up his check in September from the Pechanga Tribal Government office near Temecula but was told it was not available. A tribal government worker told him he had signed up for direct deposit.
Trouble was, Freeman hadn’t.
The worker told authorities that she had received a call from a man claiming to be Freeman and asking for direct deposit, search warrant documents say. The worker traded email messages and phone calls with the man, who filled out a direct deposit application.
As soon as the theft was reported, the bank account where the check had been deposited was frozen, court records say. There was still $11,500 in the account.
Freeman told sheriff’s investigators that he suspected his former roommate, Ji Yong Lee, who would have had access to his personal information, court records say.
Yi, 29, was charged Nov. 26 in Riverside Superior Court and pleaded guilty Dec. 6 to identity theft. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, 90 days in jail and ordered to pay fines and $13,088.64 in restitution, court records say
This means that Pechanga has fallen on hard times during this recession, including bad publicity over their disenrollments. KARMA IS A BITCH