Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribal Council Stealing From Tribal Gaming Funds
In a recent article for the Native Sun News, Jeffry Whalen, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, charges the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council with pocketing tribal gaming funds that should be used to benefit the impoverished tribe. "Remember, I said the council members are the only ones who can see audit reports? Keeping financial documents under wraps can only be for one reason… to keep the general public and stakeholders (true owners) which are the members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, from identifying insider theft," he writes, according to Indianz.com.
He quotes the tribal gaming code that cites "the Oglala Sioux Tribe shall receive at least 70 percent of the net revenues of all gaming activities conducted," and it specifically mentions "proceeds from such net revenues be distributed to individual members of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council.”
Nevertheless, the council accrued massive "personal debt in terms of unpaid motel and food expenses and left the casino holding the bag in the amount of $315,000.00," Whalen writes. "In other words, they made it so the casino could not collect what was owed to them and therefore reduced the casinos total net profits by a substantial amount."
He calculates 70 percent of $315,000.00 is $220,500.00--money that should have benefitted the tribe, "not just the select few former tribal council members."