Subscribe to Original Pechanga

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tribal Casino Crimewatch: PASKENTA BAND Accused of Squandering MILLIONS of Tribal Dollars.

One faction of an Indian tribe has accused another in a lawsuit of squandering millions of dollars in profits from a Northern California casino to lead lavish lifestyles.

In the federal suit filed Tuesday, tribe members who lost control of the Rolling Hills Casino last year are accused of spending $17 million on private jet travel and millions more on tickets to professional sporting events, luxury homes, expensive vacations and custom sports cars, The Sacramento Bee reported.

The suit alleges the faction invested $93 million in gold, property and unproven, high-risk startup companies.

They also are accused of mounting an armed attack, which authorities described as a standoff between two rival factions on a road leading to the casino in an attempt to regain control.

That was followed by a cyber-attack to cover up their criminal activity, the lawsuit alleges.

Authorities were not immediately available Wednesday to provide further information to The Associated Press related to the allegations.

The AP also could not immediately determine if the people sued have retained lawyers.

The lawsuit marked the latest chapter in an ongoing fight over the casino located near Corning, about two hours north of Sacramento.

The casino makes $100 million a year and provides $54,000 annually to each of its 300 members.

The suit alleges the "looting spree" was enabled by "rigged" tribal elections.

The 171-page lawsuit includes claims under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. It names 19 members of the tribe, including four former leaders.

1 comment:

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Aren't these actions violations of the California criminal code? I don't understand why the Attorney General is not prosecuting, but I guess Paskenta feels they have better chance of recovery if they file suit rather than pressing criminal charges.

I hope other tribes learn their lesson from this. If your leaders steal from you, waive their sovereign immunity and prosecute them under the criminal code. All you have to do then is prove they stole from the tribe, and then they get jail sentences.

The chances for recovery aren't very good in such cases. These leaders squander the money on high lifestyles and what's left is cents on the dollar. If you sue all you get is a judgment and an order to pay damages. You ruin them financially which is good I guess, but they can file bankruptcy, have the judgment dismissed, and still be free.

RICO allegations are good though. The former Treasurer for Paskenta is Leslie Lohse, and she is the Chairperson of the California Tribal Business Alliance, and Robert Smith is the Secretary/Treasurer of CTBA. Paskenta and Pala are both former clients of Howard Dickstein who was sued by the Rumsey Rancheria (now the Yoche Dehe Wintun Nation) and settled out of court rather than be tried in civil court for the various shady investments, diversion of tribal funds, and conversion of assets they alleged.

Pala and Rumsey Rancheria were involved with one of these shady deals when they invested $10 million in the San Pablo Lytton Rancheria Casino. Robert Smith reported the investment as lost to the Pala General Council. He is probably still getting payments on that one, and that is why it is rumored that he paid Howard Dickstein's $16 milion settlement with Rumsey Rancheria out of the money he stole from the trust funds of the minors he disenrolled and from the per capita he saved by disenrolling 164 tribal members.

So RICO allegations are not surprising for these corrupt tribal leaders. Where the heck is the FBI, the U.S. Attorney General, and the Department of Justice? Is it really legal to steal from tribes this way? Or is it a case of not wanting to interfere with the flow of revenue from tribal gaming?

This continual parade of corruption is not a fiction. These allegations are proven fact. The evidence is real and it will hold up in court. Tribal members just sit back and watch their leaders rip them off. They seem utterly incapable of protecting their assets, revenue, honor and reputation. Are they ignorant of the corruption, too cowardly to oppose the criminals, or just too lazy to do anything about it?