Joseph Pretty on Top Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on October 24, 2012, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, JOSEPH PRETTY ON TOP, a 49-year-old resident of Lodge Grass, pled guilty to theft by an employee of an Indian gaming establishment and theft by employee of an Indian casino. Sentencing has been set for January 23, 2013. He is currently released on special conditions.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Vincent Carroll, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On April 11, 2012, an investigation was opened after allegations that approximately $3,000 was stolen from the gaming machines at the Absaalooka Nights Casino at Crow Agency. The investigation revealed that PRETTY ON TOP, a security guard for the Absaalooka Nights Casino, had turned off the surveillance cameras to an area of the casino and, without authorization, took money out of the gaming machines in that area. PRETTY ON TOP took $681 on 3/18/2012; $1,132 on 3/20/2012; and $1,511 on 3/22/2012, for a total of $3,324. When interviewed by law enforcement, PRETTY ON TOP admitted to taking the money. Also, part of the thefts were caught on other surveillance videos.
The Absaalooka Nights Casino is a gaming establishment operated by and for, and licensed by, the Crow Tribe pursuant to an ordinance approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
PRETTY ON TOP faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.