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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 14, 2021

New Jersey Man Sentenced for Bribery

Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that an Atlantic City, New Jersey, man convicted of Bribery Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds was sentenced on May 10, 2021, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Anthony Bertino, age 60, was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.  Bertino must pay a fine in the amount of $95,000 and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Bertino was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 2, 2019.  He was found guilty as a result of a federal jury trial in Aberdeen on October 30, 2020.

The conviction stemmed from incidents between May 7, 2014, and August 4, 2014, when Bertino, who was an agent of the Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise (DNGE), corruptly accepted something of value from another person, intending to be influenced and rewarded in connection with a transaction and series of transactions of the DNGE.

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe (SWO) operates the DNGE, which oversees the tribally-run gaming establishments.  Bertino was employed as the Corporate Marketing Officer for the DNGE.  Bertino’s employment agreement included provisions stating that self-dealing is cause for termination, that he was not to engage in actions motivated by self-interest, and that he was not to work in any other capacity without first obtaining written consent from the DNGE. 

In 2014, Bertino negotiated the DNGE’s purchase of equipment from a 66,000 square foot sprung casino facility in Indiana.  On May 21, 2014, the DNGE Advisory Committee approved the purchase for $900,000.  After the DNGE wired the money to the seller, Bertino received three kickbacks from the seller totaling $104,909.78.

The case was brought pursuant to The Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities.  The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities.  Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include:  Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspector Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (605) 330-4400.  To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.

Bertino has been allowed to self-report to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service by July 3, 2021.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Updated May 14, 2021