A third ex-member of the Winnebago Tribal Council has pleaded guilty to his role in stealing from the tribe’s casino located in Iowa.
According to reports, Charles Aldrich entered the plea on Monday in the US District Court in Omaha.
The indictment shows that the unlawful distribution of funds to these ex-council members came via the issuance of gift cards by the casino and prepaid debit cards that the casino supposedly paid for. The gift cards totaled $87,000, and the debit cards contained an overall sum of $240,500 – all of which were stated in the casino’s records as ‘miscellaneous administrative expenses’.
By the time the tribe members noticed the fund distributions, the ex-council members tried to justify it by claiming the funds were compensation for extra casino oversight duties; however, according to the indictment, that oversight was already part of their duties.
FBI supervisory agent in charge Randy Thysse of the Omaha Division said, “These individuals used their elected official positions to enrich themselves and in the process betrayed the trust of their peers and those they were elected to serve. The FBI Omaha Division will remain steadfast in aggressively investigating those responsible for perpetrating schemes like this and will continue to pursue all allegations of public corruption.”
Aldrich is one of the nine ex-council members who were accused of a conspiracy to siphon over $327,000 from the WinneVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
Last month in Nebraska, Louis Houghton and Lawrence Payer pleaded guilty to the same charge, which is, theft from a gaming establishment on Indian lands. Both await sentencing.
The six other ex-council members involved are Darwin Snyder, Morgan Earth, Ramona Wolfe, Travis Mallory, Thomas Snowball Jr. and John Blackhawk.