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Chairman of Tribe Indicted On Accepting Bribes For The Tribal Casino

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The Chairman of Mashpee Wampanoag Cedric Cromwell was taken into custody on the morning of Friday November 13, 2020. He was indicted in connection to a scheme that is allegedly related to bribery by the federal prosecutors. This case concerns the tribe’s long run for building a resort casino locally in Taunton.

Andrew Lelling U.S. Attorney said that Warwick R.I.’s Cromwell and David DeQuattro were punished for two reasons. One was for paying or accepting bribes to an agent or as an agent of a tribal government. Another count of indictment was for conspiring with others to commit the offence of bribery. Individually Cromwell was indicted on extortion under color of official right. Along with this, he was also indicted on conspiring to commit the offence of extortion.

Cromwell was provided by in-kind benefits and a stream of payments by an architectural firm. The owner of this firm is DeQuattro. Collectively, Cromwell received $57,549 from DeQuattro. In exchange for this offering, the Gaming Authority of the tribe signed a contract worth $4,966,287 with the firm. This information was provided by the federal prosecutors who also said that Cromwell was paid $44,000 through personal checks. Prosecutors allege that this amount was used by the chairman for his personal expenses including the payment of his mistress.

The charges read that Mr. Cromwell had shattered the faith of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe that had entrusted the construction of the casino to him. He abused his position to commit extortion and accept bribes. Lelling said that the majority of American Indians have social and financial problems. Currently, they deserve and require a real leader who speaks of their problems and does something about them. But as the findings of this case allege, the priority of Cromwell was to take care of his pocket and not a coal uplifting of the tribe. Lelling added that his team is continuing the investigation against public corruption including the ones concerning the people who claim to serve the tribes.

 

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