Miccosukee Indian Tribe of Florida
A South Florida sports talk show host pleaded guilty recently to engaging in a kickback scheme to defraud Miccosukee Indian Gaming of "hundreds of thousands of dollars," prosecutors said. Jeffrey DeForrest, morning host for WQAM radio in Miami, admitted he gave $10,000 to Miccosukee marketing director Jeffrey Purcell in 1999 for guaranteeing the renewal of the contract to produce "Miccosukee Sports Rap," a weekly sports talk show that was televised on Sunshine Network. The contract was renewed in 1999 and again in 2000. Purcell resigned before the contract was renewed the second time, and DeForrest agreed to pay a second Miccosukee employee $10,000 to guarantee the contract in 2000, prosecutors said. WQAM officials did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Charges were pending against the second Miccosukee employee as well as DeForrest's unnamed partner in the deals, FBI agent Hector M. Pesquera said. Purcell was charged with one count of stealing money from the tribe. DeForrest was released on $50,000 bond. A proposed sentence of six months house arrest will be recommended to District Judge James Lawrence King at a March 27 hearing. DeForrest would also receive three years probation and perform 80 hours of community service, under the plea agreement. DeForrest also agreed to pay restitution to the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians and could be fined $250,000.