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Guilty pleas in scheme involving Twenty-Nine Palms Band casino

Filed Under: California
More on: crime, twenty nine palms

Photo from Spotlight 29 Casino

Three people have pleaded guilty in connection with a corruption scheme involving a casino owned by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians in California.

David Alan Heslop, 76, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. As the tribe's consultant, he admitted that he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to bribe Gary Edward Kovall, the tribe's general counsel.

Kovall, 67, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. He admitted he steered contracts at the Spotlight 29 Casino to companies he and Heslop set up.

Paul Phillip Bardos, 58, a general contractor, also pleaded guilty in connection with the case. He admitted to tax evasion.

"Over a period of about 18 months that ended in mid-2008, the tribe paid these companies approximately $2.8 million," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a press release.

Get the Story:
Third man pleads guilty to scheme costing local tribe hundreds of thousands of dollars (KESQ 4/8)
David Alan Heslop pleads guilty to defrauding local tribe (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 4/9)
Third defendant pleads guilty in $2.8 million bribery scheme (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 4/9)

Related Stories:
Judge won't toss Twenty-Nine Palms casino corruption case (03/26)

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