Former Winnebago Tribal Council Member Sentenced for Theft from an Indian Gaming Establishment
Acting United States Attorney Robert C. Stuart announced today that Chief United States District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp sentenced Lawrence Payer, age 71, of Winnebago, Nebraska for his conviction for theft from an Indian gaming establishment. Payer was sentenced to five years of probation and 150 hours of community service. He was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $36,000.
Payer was a member of the tribal council of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Beginning in 2013 and continuing through September of 2014, began taking unauthorized disbursements from the WinnaVegas Casino and Resort in the total amount of $36,000. These disbursements were in the form of gift certificates which he did not pay for and deposits to a re-loadable debit card. The disbursements were in addition to the salary received from the Winnebago Tribe as a tribal council member. However, the disbursements were not paid through the payroll department of the Winnebago Tribe and were never authorized at a regular or special meeting of the tribal council. Further, the disbursements were concealed from the Winnebago Gaming Commission which oversaw the operations of the casino and was required to approve financial transactions of the casino.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.