Federal investigators have cited members of the St. Croix Band of Chippewa with 527 violations of federal tribal gaming laws, according to a report from Wisconsin Public Radio and evidence gathered by officials with the National Indian Gaming Commission.
In a notice issued April 11, commission chairman Jonodev O. Chaudhuri said “the violations included tribal members using gaming revenues for parties, bonuses, business expenses, college tuition and travel expenses.”
Seven tribal members received $562,246 in direct payments from the St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake between 2015 and 2017, Wisconsin Public Radio said in a story released on April 19.
"They include tribal council members Elmer 'Jay' Emery, Carmen Bugg, Stuart Bearhart, Crystal Peterson, tribal member Duane Emery, tribal gaming commission chairman Jeff Taylor and tribal chairman Lewis Taylor," the story added.
In a cover letter accompanying the notice, Chaudhuri said he would normally issue a “letter of concern (before) bringing an enforcement action. In this case, given the pervasiveness and serious nature of the violations, coupled with the fact that many of the (tribal officials cited) are still in a position to direct casino and net gaming revenues,” he had decided to “proceed directly with the notice of violation.”