SLT Property Seized in Recovery of Scam Against Thunder Valley Tribe
Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 3-21-2012
Federal agents are moving to seize 32 properties stretching from Sacramento to Hawaii to San Diego in an alleged kickback and money laundering scheme that they say drained $18 million from the coffers of the tribe that runs the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln.
Documents filed by the Internal Revenue Service in U.S. District Court in Sacramento late Tuesday allege that Sacramento developer Bart Volen and two others systematically siphoned off millions from the United Auburn Indian Community while they oversaw the construction of office buildings that now serve as the tribe's headquarters.
The IRS is seeking to seize the properties -- including condominiums in Hawaii, San Diego and South Lake Tahoe -- that the agency says were purchased with money taken from the tribe in an overbilling scheme.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case, which targets Volen, tribal administrator Greg Baker and former tribal worker Darrell Hinz.
None of the three men could immediately be reached today.
Baker has been placed on paid leave from his post as tribal administrator and a spokesman for the Indian community noted that no charges have been filed.
"We note that no criminal action has been filed at this time," spokesman Doug Elmets said. "No wrongdoing has been proven.
"If the United Auburn Indian Community has been the victim of fraud, we expect any assets seized to be used as full restitution."
In a 189-page affidavit filed by IRS special agent...