U.S. Attorney’s Office Seeks To Identify Potential Victims Of Internet Fraud Scheme With Links To Nigeria
“This case reflects my office’s strong commitment to working in partnership with tribal leadership and law enforcement to prosecute crimes that occur on tribal lands, including theft from tribal businesses,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “Together we will hold criminals accountable for their wrongdoing.”
Between September 2021 and November 2022, Cook stole over $100,000 from the Gun Lake Casino, which is owned and operated by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe). During his theft scheme, Cook was employed at the Gun Lake Casino. Shortly after being hired, Cook began stealing cash from the cash-out kiosks located around the casino gaming floor. An internal casino audit and security surveillance video footage showed Cook pocketing large amounts of cash when he was supposed to be clearing jammed cash-out machines. Cook’s bank records also revealed a large influx of cash deposits around the same time that the money was being stolen from the casino kiosk machines.
“The Gun Lake Tribe is committed to the safety and well-being of all persons within its jurisdiction and welcomes and appreciates the strong commitment and partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan and local law enforcement,” said Gun Lake Tribe Interim Director of Public Safety Seth Carter. “The Gun Lake Tribe is committed to building a safe community and supports comprehensive law enforcement, prevention, intervention, and support services.”
"The defendant's alleged theft and fraud actions against the tribal community is disturbing," said Special Agent in Charge Cheyvoryea Gibson of the FBI in Michigan. "Through our local partnerships, the FBI is uniquely poised to investigate cases like those documented in this case. We continue to request the help of the public by reporting violations to 1-800-CALLFBI (1-800-225-5324) or submitting tips online to http://tips.fbi.gov."
This case was investigated by the Gun Lake Tribal Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The FBI and tribal police across the Western District of Michigan work closely together to prevent, investigate, and refer for prosecution certain crimes that occur on tribal lands.