Tunica Biloxi tribal chairman pleads guilty to illegally taking more than $83,000 from tribe
ALEXANDRIA, La. – United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Chairman Joey Barbry pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally taking more than $83,000 from the tribe’s check cashing business.
Barbry, 40, of Mansura, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell to one count of theft from an Indian tribal organization. According to the guilty plea, Barbry cashed 105 non-sufficient fund (NSF) checks totaling $83,510 from July 2014 to November 2014 with the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. Barbry made the checks out to the Tunica Biloxi Financial Services (TBFS), which is an organization the tribe owns that functions as a check cashing business for the tribal casino. Normal operation of the TBFS for NSF checks would require that the person writing NSF checks be placed into a computer tracking system and would be barred from writing further checks. The violator would also be turned over to the Avoyelles Parish District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution if the money was not repaid. TBFS manager Brent Barbre told employees not to input Barbry into the tracking system, and that he would handle the chairman’s NSF checks personally. Brent Barbre allowed the defendant to continue writing NSF checks because he was the chairman of the tribe and Brent Barbre’s supervisor.
Barbry faces five years in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph is prosecuting the case.