Mashpee Wampanoags, a Native American tribe from Massachusetts, is dealing with some serious issues these days. The Tribe’s former leader, Cedric Cromwell, is sentenced to prison.
Bribery, treason, and crimes in the Tribe:
This verdict has been made because Cromwell accepted various types of bribes, including exercise equipment and a stay in a luxury hotel that charges $1.800 per night. He also accepted the payment of $10,000 in November 2015. The money has been deposited in an account that belongs to a fake company called One Nation Development LLC, but it has been found out that the company doesn’t have any employees and that Cromwell had been using that money to cover his personal expenses.
An architectural firm that has been in charge of works on a casino has bribed Cromwell. The company has to pay a fine of $50,000. Also, David DeQuattro, the owner of a Rhode Island architecture and design firm, has been sentenced to a year of probation, which will be spent at home.
Cromwell will have to spend three years in prison, as it was decided on the trial that had been held in Boston in November. During the trial, he apologized. His attorneys asked for a stay and restitution. Also, they filed an appeal, and now they are awaiting for the Court to determine it.
Rachel Rollins, U.S. Attorney for the State of Massachusetts, commented on the sentence, saying that the Court “rightly addresses the immense harm these men inflicted upon the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation – harm to its reputation through Mr. Cromwell’s corruption; to its economic development through massive project delays and lost resources; and harm to its financial resources through the significant legal fees and expenses generated in their steadfast support and compliance with our investigation.”
Both included parties were sued in May: Cromwell for bribery and extortion and DeQuattro for a bribery charge.
Chairman condemns the actions:
Mashpee Wampanoags is a tribe with a long history. They are currently based in Cape Cod and consist of about 2.600 citizens. The current chairman is Brian Weeden, who didn’t know about this treason, and strongly condemns Cromwell’s actions.
He wrote in a statement: “For over 400 years, the Tribe has fought to preserve its culture and lands and protect its people from constant exploitation and oppression. And yet, we are now facing the ultimate betrayal by one elected and entrusted to lead and act in the best interests of our Tribal Nation and future seven generations.”