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Paskenta Band funds were used to buy gold and purchase a jet





A $3 million jet and more than 162 ounces of gold are at the center of a simmering dispute within the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians in California.

John Crosby, the tribe's economic development officer, says the jet and the gold were purchased with tribal funds. They are being held in undisclosed location due to a dispute with Chairman Andy Freeman.

“I did buy the gold for the tribe,” Crosby told The Sacramento Bee.

But Freeman says Crosby was not authorized to buy $209,000 in gold. And he accuses Leslie Lohse, who has been serving as treasurer of the tribe, of using the private jet for personal trips, including some to see her son -- Kyle Lohse, plays for the Milwaukee Brewers.

All told, Freeman claims Crosby and Lohse stole $10 million from the tribe. But they showed employment contracts to the Bee that authorized the tribe to extend $5 million lines of credit to each one of them.

Lohse also claims the dispute began when Freeman asked the tribe for funds to buy a third house. The chairman disputed that accusation.

“Put me on a lie detector test,” Freeman told the paper.

Freeman claims Lohse and three other council members were removed from office. He says a new set of leaders were elected by tribal voters.

However, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has not recognized the results of that election. The agency continues to recognize Lohse as treasurer over Freeman's objections.

Get the Story:
Northern California tribe splits into armed camps over casino profits (The Sacramento Bee 6/15)

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