AP

Former tribal leader gets 3 years in casino bribery case

Nov 16, 2022, 8:45 AM | Updated: 9:08 am

BOSTON (AP) — The former leader of a Massachusetts Native American tribe convicted of accepting bribes including exercise equipment and a weekend stay at a luxury hotel from an architectural firm working with the tribe to build a casino has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Cedric Cromwell, former chair of the Mashpee Wampanoags, was also sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boston on Tuesday to a year of probation and was fined $25,000, according to prosecutors.

David DeQuattro, 56, the owner of the Rhode Island architecture and design firm, was sentenced to a year of probation under home confinement and fined $50,000.

The Cape Cod-based tribe, which currently has about 2,600 enrolled citizens, in an impact statement signed by current Chair Brian Weeden said it has been “irreparably harmed” by Cromwell’s conduct.

“For over 400 years, the Tribe has fought to preserve its culture, lands and protect its people from constant exploitation and oppression,” Weeden wrote. “And yet, we are now facing the ultimate betrayal by one elected and entrusted to lead and act in the best interests of our Tribal Nation and future seven generations.”

He noted that while Cromwell was enriching himself, tribal members “struggled under the pressures of increased homelessness, unemployment, alcohol and opioid addiction, and other traumas.”

Cromwell, 57, apologized in court.

“I will spend the rest of my life seeking redemption,” he said, The Boston Globe reported.

DeQuatto’s attorney called his client’s actions an “aberration.”

Cromwell, who also was the president of the tribe’s five-member gaming authority, received $10,000 from DeQuattro in November 2015 that was deposited into an account for a company called One Nation Development LLC, which Cromwell founded to help Native tribes with economic development, prosecutors said.

But One Nation Development had no employees and Cromwell spent the money on personal expenses, prosecutors said.

He asked for, and received from DeQuattro and his business partner, a $1,700 home gym in August 2016, prosecutors said.

Cromwell also asked DeQuattro to pay for a three-night stay at a luxury Boston hotel in May 2017 so he could celebrate his birthday with someone he described as a “special guest.” The stay cost $1,800, prosecutors said.

Cromwell was convicted in May of bribery and extortion charges. DeQuattro was convicted of a bribery charge. Cromwell still faces multiple counts of filing a false tax return.

Meanhwile, plans for the proposed $1 billion casino in Taunton remain on hold.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court has h...

Associated Press

Supreme Court decision on Trump’s election status could come Monday morning

A SCOTUS decision could come Monday in the case about whether Trump can be kicked off the ballot over his efforts to undo his 2020 defeat.

10 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley poses for a selfie after speakin...

Associated Press

Nikki Haley wins D.C. Republican primary, her first 2024 victory

Nikki Haley has won the Republican primary in the District of Columbia, notching her first victory of the 2024 campaign.

10 hours ago

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

15 hours ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

17 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

3 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Former tribal leader gets 3 years in casino bribery case