Column: Pequot chair cites bribery over bank debt
"Was Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman Michael Thomas offered a bribe, in the form of an unsecured $1 million line of credit, by Sovereign Bank, as it courted the tribe's lucrative casino banking business five years ago?

This is what Thomas asserts in paperwork his lawyers have filed in a Superior Court lawsuit in which Sovereign is trying to reclaim the proceeds of the loan, which over time, with addendums, grew into a $5.2 million line of credit.

The bank says Thomas is in default on the loan for not making payments and now owes more than $6.5 million, including penalties and interest, an amount that is growing at the rate of $1,769 a day.

The bank, according to Thomas, made the loan “with the intent to influence or reward an agent of an Indian tribal government” in violation of federal statutes. Thomas doesn't use the word bribe, but the statute he cites does.

And since the loan was made “against public policy” and with the intent to “violate the law,” the loan documents are void, the argument goes, and therefore Thomas cannot be compelled to pay the money back."

Get the Story:
David Collins: Tribal Chairman claims bank Bribed Him (The New London Day 4/12)