Fort Independence Indian Community cheated by former partner

The Fort Independence Indian Community operates a travel plaza and gaming facility on its reservation in California. Photo from Fort Independence Travel Plaza / Winnedumah Winns Casino / Facebook

A former partner of the Fort Independence Indian Community in California pleaded guilty to cheating the tribe out of millions of dollars.

Gregory J. Chmielewski set up a company that provided workers to businesses in the state. By operating as a tribal entity, Chmielewski helped clients avoid the high costs of workers’ compensation insurance.

But even though Independent Staffing Solutions appeared to be doing well -- it took in $225 million in revenues in just four years, The Sacramento Bee reported -- the tribe didn't benefit. Chmielewski admitted that he stole $7.3 million from the operation.

Chmielewski entered a plea agreement last month. He is due to be sentenced in April, the Bee reported.

In related news, the tribe elected a new slate of leaders on January 6, according to a press release published in The Sierra Wave. Norm Wilder will serve as chair, Karma Henry as vice chair and Stephanie Arman as secretary-treasurer.

Get the Story:
Roseville man skimmed millions from Indian tribe’s insurance company (The Sacramento Bee 2/11)
New Tribal Officers elected at Fort Independence (The Sierra Wave 2/6)
Workers' compensation executive pleads guilty in federal court (The Sacramento Business Journal 1/19)

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Authorities say Fort Independence Tribe cheated out of $7M (11/15)

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