Sunday, February 10, 2008

Native American Lac du Flambeau follies.............

The cash crisis at the tribe is so severe that the Chippewa band's lawyers were told last month to quickly close on a $50 million bond deal "so that the contractors would not walk off the job in Mississippi," where the tribe is an investor in a planned Mississippi River casino, according a memo by Brian Pierson, a Milwaukee attorney representing the tribe. The Lac du Flambeau has already poured at least $8 million into the riverboat project.

Proceeds from the bond offering were used to refinance $22 million in debt that was incurred on the Mississippi project and on Lake of the Torches Resort Casino on the tribe's Vilas County reservation. The bulk of the remaining $28 million is earmarked for the Mississippi boat deal, which has not yet received a required state gaming license.

The Mississippi riverboat deal is separate from an earlier bid by the Lac du Flambeau to launch a gambling boat in Cancun, Mexico. The tribe lost more than $3 million on that boat, dubbed the Dream Catcher, and bills continue to run up as it sits in dry dock in Florida. The boat is for sale.

In a three-page Feb. 2 memo to the Tribal Council, Pierson blames financial woes on the low seasonal revenue at the tribe's profitable casino in northern Wisconsin; payments on bonds that came due; and a multimillion-dollar investment in XIT Networks, a start-up telecommunications security company based in Houston.

The beat goes on in Indian Country. Just another example of tribal leadership coming up very short on business acumen. It's the Bands money, not the the Tribal Councils money! Fiduciary responsibility at Lac du Flambeau? There is none!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the Lac du Flambeau tribe and it is worse than you know! Our Tribal Council has co-mingled all our federal,state and tribal general funds to pay on the debt. We are now over 10% unemployed and our bills are piling up. Victoria Doud, our Chairwoman has lied to us about the Mississippi and Cancun deals, we dont even know anything about the XIT thing. No money has come our way yet and it doesn't look like we will get any for a long time. I believe there are laws against co-mingling, but i am not a lawyer. Carl Edwards one of our Councilman is as crooked as a snake. He was given a large amount of money to buy new slot machines for the Natchez project and according to him he did. well it turns out the slots were from some place in Florida that rebuilds old slots and sells them for cheap. where did the rest of the money go Carl? I'm telling you we have a very bad thing going on here?

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