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Press Release

Las Vegas Businessmen Sentenced to Prison in Montana Public Corruption Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

GREAT FALLS - The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Zachary Brooke Roberts and Martin Gasper Mazzara were sentenced to 20 months of prison and are required to pay $2.5 million in restitution to the Chippewa Cree Tribe.  The shell company of Encore Services, LLC, was also convicted, and the court ordered it to pay the same amount of restitution.  The sentencing occurred on August 25, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, in Great Falls, Montana.    

Roberts and Mazzara, through a backdated and inflated 15% Fee Agreement, were paid over $3.5 million from the Chippewa Cree Tribe.  Roberts and Mazzara then funneled money from Nevada back to Montana to Ideal Consulting.  Ideal Consulting was a shell company used to distribute payments to Neal Rosette and Billi Anne Morsette, both of whom were tribal officials.  This scheme was created to conceal from the tribal people the $1.2 million in kickbacks to Rosette and Morsette.  Both Rosette and Morsette were previously sentenced for receiving bribes from Roberts and Mazzara.    

Roberts and Mazzara engaged in the above scheme by inflating their invoices from 10% to 15%, submitting those false invoices to the Chippewa Cree Tribe, and then funneling and concealing the 5% that went back to the shell company of Ideal Consulting.  In order to perpetuate the scheme, Roberts and Mazzara generated false invoices from Encore Services, LLC, and they also accepted false invoices from Ideal Consulting.  For example, Ideal Consulting submitted invoices for “consulting” services to Roberts and Mazzara, but those invoices were bogus and no consulting services ever occurred from Ideal Consulting.

When the above scheme was discovered, Roberts and Mazzara, in October of 2012, backdated a “Joint Venture Agreement” by over 15 months to act as cover for the money paid to the tribal officials through Ideal Consulting.   

In a sentencing memo filed in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan G. Weldon and Bryan T. Dake stated, “This case is about an insatiable appetite to make money at the expense of others.  The defendants initially arrived on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation to use tribal sovereignty to circumvent maximum interest rates and other regulations under state laws.  When that failed, the parties instead began to victimize the tribal people.  In doing so, the defendants and others concocted a scheme to funnel money back to tribal officials, all of which totaled $1.2 million.”  Weldon and Dake explained that it takes two sides to generate a corrupt transaction—a corrupt public official and a corrupt businessman.  Both must be held accountable because both are essential to the creation of a corrupt transaction.  “Such accountability also acts as a deterrent to remind future businessmen that sharp business tactics, when dealing with public officials, can easily end in the loss of everything—reputation, fortune, and freedom.” 

The convictions of Roberts and Mazzara were for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.  The convictions and sentencing of these defendants are the latest in a series of prosecutions and convictions relating to public corruption, fraud, and theft in federal grants, contracts, and programs brought by the investigators and prosecutors of the U.S. Attorney’s Guardians Project, an anti-corruption strike force created in 2011.  These cases were investigated by the Department of Interior, Office of Inspector General, Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue


Acting Public Information Officer
(406) 761-7715

Updated August 25, 2017

Public Corruption