Award winning journalist Carmen George, keeps her readers up to date on the mess that is the Chukchansi tribe.
In face of a looming default on a $12 million payment due to bondholders of Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino, several new developments have occurred at Chukchansi -- including another lawsuit, investigations, and a tribal referendum affirming the Chukchansi tribal council led by Reggie Lewis.
While a casino default still remains possible, the threat was somewhat softened April 12 when Chukchansi leaders paid $10 million. The other $2 million is still needed as a 30-day grace period nears its end. If it's not paid by April 30, the tribe could lose $1 million a month for tribal government and member services.
Paying back the casino's $250 million in debt -- with semiannual payments required through 2020 -- has become more difficult with a new leadership split that began Feb. 21.
One group, led by Nancy Ayala, remains in control of casino management and cash, and the other, led by Lewis, remain the only authorized signers on the tribe's official bank accounts.
The tribe was not able to pay the other $2 million because there is not sufficient funds in that account because Ayala's group has not been depositing casino revenues into it, required by agreements in place, said Richard Verri, a lawyer representing the council led by Lewis.
Read the rest of Carmen George’s report at Sierra Star News
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