A former member of the Winnebago tribal council has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to stealing from the tribe’s WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan.
Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports.
OC….I’m O.K. Henderson. :39
In 2016, federal authorities charged nine members of the Winnebago tribal council with wire fraud, conspiracy and “theft from a gaming establishment on Indian lands.”
Investigators said the group gave itself raises and bonuses totalling more than 327-thousand dollars, but the payments were disguised as miscellaneous expenses in the casino accounts.
This summer, 56-year-old Thomas Snowball pleaded guilty to one count of theft. A federal judge now has sentenced him to probation and ordered Snowball to pay 36-thousand-500 dollars in restitution.
Last week, a judge dismissed charges against one of the nine members of the tribe who were arrested in this case.
Three former members of the tribal council have gotten sentences of probation and restitution in the range of 36-thousand dollars.
Two others — including the former Winnebago tribal chairman — await sentencing.
A judge ordered a mental health evaluation for a woman charged in the case to determine if she is competent to stand trial.
The Winnebago Tribe opened a casino in Sloan, Iowa, in 1992.