Indictment in connection with Twentynine Palms Band casino

Four people were indicted on federal bribery and money-laundering charges in connection with the casino owned by the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians in California.

The tribe's attorney, Gary Edward Kovall, is accused of steering contracts for work at the Spotlight 29 Casino to associates. In return, he received kickbacks, according to federal prosecutors.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to the prosecution of corruption and fraud in all of their guises,” André Birotte Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, said in a press release. ‘This case demonstrates that our commitment extends to vigorously pursuing cases against unscrupulous individuals who abuse their positions to take advantage of Native American tribes.”

David Alan Heslop, Paul Phillip Bardos and Peggy Ann Shambaugh, who is Kovall's wife, were also charged.

Get the Story:
Attorney for Twentynine Palms tribe indicted on federal charges (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 5/11)
Four indicted in alleged bribery, money laundering (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 5/11)
Attorney, retired professor accused of defrauding tribe (The Los Angeles Times 5/10)
Four indicted in federal bribery case tied to Twentynine Palms tribe (The San Bernardino County Sun 5/10)