Seminole Tribe under NIGC and IRS scrutiny

The National Indian Gaming Commission and the Internal Revenue Service have been keeping an eye on the Seminole Tribe of Florida for a long time.

But the agencies have never penalized the tribe over the way it uses gaming revenues, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. While other tribes have been fined, indicted and imprisoned, Seminole leaders appear to get away with spending million of dollars in casino profits any way they please, according to the paper.

NIGC Chairman Phil Hogen said his agency wants to cooperate with the tribe despite questions about the use of gaming revenues. "We've found we can catch more flies with honey than vinegar," he told the paper.

The IRS also seems to play nice. Letters cited by the paper praise the tribe for its "warm hospitality" and the "positive working relationship between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the IRS."

The paper ran a week-long series on the tribe and its finances.

Get the Story:
Tribal leaders spend, but federal oversight is lacking (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 11/30)
Other American Indian tribal leaders have landed in court over use of funds (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 11/30)
Spotlight: For Native American, money leads the way (The International Herald Tribune 11/30)
Editor: Public has a real stake in Seminole activities (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 12/2)