Business | Law

Chukchansi Tribe confirms IRS summons into economic arm

Chukchansi Inc., the economic development arm of the >Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians, hosted a grand opening for the Willow Glen Smoke Shop in Coarsegold, California, in March 2011. Photo from Facebook

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a summons for the economic development arm of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians in California, Chairman Reggie Lewis confirmed to The Fresno Bee.

The IRS is seeking “all corporate records and books of account" regarding Chukchansi Inc., the paper reported. The summons also named Jeffrey Chance Alberta, who runs the corporation and also sits on the tribal council.

“If Chance is being investigated for anything criminal it would be in the best interest of the tribe to suspend him from Chukchansi Inc., and the tribal council,” Lewis told the paper in response.

Lewis has been unable to secure enough votes to suspend Alberta pending resolution of the probe, the paper reported. The IRS summons, though, does not necessarily indicate anything criminal.

Lewis and Chance, along with five other members of the current council, are running for re-election in October in what would be the first vote since a leadership dispute split the tribe into rival factions. The fight stems from a variety of issues, including disenrollments of large groups of people and the management of the tribe's casino, which has been shut down since October 2014.

The election, which takes place October 3, could help settle matters.

Get the Story:
IRS targets a Chukchansi tribal council member (The Fresno Bee 8/18)

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