A former insurance broker for Pechanga Resort & Casino near Temecula who was convicted last year of bilking the tribe has now pleaded guilty to stealing from a San Diego County Indian casino, authorities said.
James William Riley, 50, was sentenced Wednesday, May 7, in San Diego County to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay $172,000 in restitution, according to a new release from the California Department of Insurance.
Riley was charged in San Diego County in January with multiple felonies, including theft and embezzlement involving the workers’ compensation insurance policy for Casino Pauma. He pleaded guilty in April to one count of grand theft.
Investigators said Riley failed in 2007 to return $172,000 in excess premiums resulting from fluctuations in the number of employees, which was his duty as a licensed agent. The loss was discovered in 2010 and prompted a criminal investigation involving multiple agencies and the Pauma-Yuima Band of Luiseño Indians, the release said.
“When Riley chose to follow his greed and rip off his clients, he violated his fiduciary responsibilities and their trust,” Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in a written statement, adding that workers’ compensation fraud costs California consumers billions of dollars every year.
Riley and Ryan Jay Robinson, Pechanga Casino’s former chief financial officer, were sentenced last year in Riverside County to two years, 8 months in prison for commercial bribery in connection with an insurance overcharging scam from 2006 to 2007 that cost the tribe millions. They had been indicted by a grand jury in 2010.
PECHANGA BAND OF LUISENO Indians has stolen well over $400 MILLION from tribal members via disenrollment