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Mashantucket tribal leaders indicted in theft
North East News
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 06 January 2013

Mashantucket tribal leaders indicted in theft
Feds: Ex-chairman, treasurer stole $800K
 By JOHN BARRY
The Bulletin
Posted Jan 04, 2013

 Mashantucket, Conn. — Former Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman Michael Thomas and current Tribal Council Treasurer Steven Thomas stole more than $800,000 combined from the tribe, a federal indictment says.

A federal grand jury in Hartford indicted the brothers on Friday, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut.

If convicted, they each could face up to 25 years in prison, $750,000 in fines, plus forfeiture of the money the indictments claim they stole.

The tribe owns Foxwoods Resort Casino, one of the largest casinos in the world and one of the region’s biggest employers.

They have not been taken into custody, Tom Carson, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said. They are expected to appear Monday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven.

The indictment against Michael Thomas, 44, claims that from October 2007 through April 2009, while chairman, he embezzled more than $100,000 in tribal funds.

Steven Thomas, 38, embezzled more than $700,000 between January 2005 and June 2008, while he was assistant director of the tribe’s Department of Natural Resources Protection, the indictment against him says. The department was responsible for developing and protecting the tribe’s natural resources on its Ledyard reservation.

Each man is charged with theft from an Indian tribal organization and two counts of theft from an Indian tribal government receiving federal funds.

The first charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine, and the second charge has a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine for each count.

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