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Four indicted in federal bribery case tied to Twentynine Palms tribe – San Bernardino County Sun

By   /   May 10, 2012  /   7 Comments

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Joe Nelson, Staff Writer

Posted:   05/10/2012 04:08:26 PM PDT

An attorney for the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians and a Rancho Cucamonga contractor were among four people indicted this week in a federal bribery and money laundering case.

The 48-count indictment, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, names as defendants attorney Gary Edward Kovall, 66, of Ely, Minn., Rancho Cucamonga general contractor Paul Phillip Bardos, 57, David Alan Heslop, 74, of Templeton and Peggy Anne Shambaugh, 56, also of Ely.

The four are accused of participating in a scheme in which associates of Kovall, who represents the Twentynine Palms tribe, paid him kickbacks in exchange for securing work for the tribe, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to the indictment, the tribe, under Kovall’s advisement, created a limited liability company to purchase real estate. Kovall convinced the tribe to hire Heslop as the company’s manager, then Kovall and Heslop convinced the tribe to hire Bardos for several construction projects at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, authorities said.

When additional construction projects became necessary, Kovall persuaded the tribe to grant Bardos the contracts. After being paid by the tribe, Bardos paid kickbacks to Heslop who, in turn, paid kickbacks to Kovall through Shambaugh, according to the indictment.

In 2007, Bardos allegedly paid Heslop more than $186,577, most of which was then funneled to Shambaugh, according tothe indictment.

All four defendants are charged with conspiracy. Kovall, Bardos and Shambaugh are also charged with eight counts of bribery, and Heslop is charged with 16 counts of bribery. Bardos also faces eight counts of money laundering and Heslop seven counts of money laundering. Shambaugh is also charged with two counts of money laundering.

Steven Martinez, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said in a statement Thursday that the defendants deprived the Twentynine Palms tribe of honest leadership by “lining their own pockets with the tribe’s money, including government funding designated for necessary services.”

Darrell Mike, chairman of the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to the prosecution of corruption and fraud in all of their guises,” U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said in a statement. “This case demonstrates that our commitment extends to vigorously pursuing cases against unscrupulous individuals who abuse their positions to take advantage of Native American tribes.”

Kovall, Heslop, Bardos and Shambaugh face anywhere from 75 to 225 years in prison if convicted and fines ranging from $2million to $5.75 million.

Contact Joevia emailor by phone at 909-386-3874.

Read more:http://www.sbsun.com/ci_20595685/four-indicted-federal-bribery-case-tied-twentynine-palms#ixzz1uWsfT5iN

via Four indicted in federal bribery case tied to Twentynine Palms tribe – San Bernardino County Sun.

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  • Published: 2 years ago on May 10, 2012
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  • Last Modified: May 10, 2012 @ 8:54 pm
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7 Comments

  1. Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

    “Working for the tribe” and “tied to the tribe” are distinctly different. The title suggests the tribe was the guilty party where in actuality they were the victims.

    • Terry, my read on this story didn’t reach the same conclusions as yours.

      I don’t see where it suggest the tribe was guilty. It’s an example of how careless, clueless and unwitting individuals — akin to the 29 P City Council — follow unscrupulous legal advice so attorneys can line their pockets.

      • Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

        I mostly didn’t agree with the title. They weren’t tied together. One was a victim.
        Careless and clueless? How so. Check out the backgrounds of the perpetrators.
        You have to trust somebody. Delegate authority to reputable sources. Apparently, somebody was on the ball. Google up the PDF on the civil court action.
        There’s more to the story.

  2. Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

    NO MORE LONG URLS IN COMMENTS PLEASE
    Terry’s URL

  3. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    Here is what I am going to do…. the next time we have a huge URL posted in the comment section I will limit urls as spam. They will then have to be approved by me at some future time when I feel the urge.

    • Terry Elam Terry Elam says:

      I apologize for the spam. Didn’t realize the size or the associated problems.
      I had some spare time this morning and started Googling the names.
      There’s some interesting ties.
      These aren’t your everyday tweakers trying to scam whomever out of their money. These are prestigious folks.
      If guilty, how far back in time does pattern of bribery go and who else does it entail?
      While they may not be the 1% and they are not bankers, they represent a huge percentage of what is wrong with this country.

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