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Former Mashpee Wampanoag Chair’s Casino Bribery Trial Set to Begin

Federal authorities have set a trial date in a case against the ex-chair of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Cedric Cromwell is charged with bribery and extortion, as well as filing false tax returns related to the tribe’s casino projects. He will have his chance to respond to the allegations in court this April.

Tribal Boss Heads to Court

According to the Cape Cod Times, the trial will be held at 9 am on April 19 in US District Court, Boston, under Judge Douglas Woodlock. Cromwell was originally indicted in March 2021. However, the trial has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cromwell, 55 years old, was indicted on four counts of falsely filing a tax return in March 2021. The new charges stemmed from a scheme to bribe tribe members in order to construct a resort and casino at Taunton. Cromwell and a business associate, David DeQuattro (54), were indicted on bribery charges in November 2020.

Prosecutors claim that Cromwell did not report money received from DeQuattro on his personal income tax returns from 2014 to 2017. The money came from bribes given to him for the casino projects. During that period, Cromwell concealed from the IRS the bribes received by DeQuattro’s firm, prosecutors claim. DeQuattro was contracted to be the “owner’s representative for the tribe” regarding the casino project.

Prosecutors claimed that Cromwell did not report $39,000 in 2014; $57,374 for 2015; $26,884 for 2016; and $54,134 for 2017.

Multiple Violations of Federal Laws

Prosecutors also claimed that Cromwell failed to report consulting fees he received for a company that provided forest carbon offsets. This included partnering with Native Indian tribes that own forests.

According to prosecutors, Cromwell received consulting income from a “P-Co.” intermediary that was set up by one of Cromwell’s business associates. The only authorized signatory for the “P-Co” bank account was the business associate.

Prosecutors also claimed that Cromwell didn’t report income through his company, One Nation Development. He received it through the shell company account as well as the bank account for a Florida limited partnership. The CEO of a Las Vegas-based architectural firm, hired to design the casino project for the tribe, was the only authorized signatory on the bank account of the investment holding company.

If convicted, Cromwell could be sentenced to a three-year term in prison with a year of supervised release and a $100,000 penalty.

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