Apache Resident Pleads Guilty to Tribal Embezzlement
Second to Plead Guilty for Embezzlement Scheme from Apache Tribe Casinos
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – ANTONIO CARATTINI, 61, of Apache, Oklahoma, pled guilty yesterday to embezzlement from the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. In a related case, JOHN PANGBURN, 60, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, pled guilty in September of 2013 to conspiracy to embezzle funds from the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.
From July 2010 through July 2011, Pangburn was the general manager of the Apache Tribe’s Silver Buffalo Casino in Anadarko. According to the Indictment filed against Carattini, in the fall of 2010, Pangburn "hired" Carattini – without the approval of the tribe – as a tribal consultant to help with building a new casino in Apache. The Indictment alleged that Pangburn signed and directed checks for more than $90,000 in tribal casino funds to Carattini, though Carattini did little if any work for the tribe. The Indictment also alleged that on several occasions, Carattini cashed those tribal checks to him and returned approximately $1,000 in cash to Pangburn.
At yesterday’s plea hearing, Carattini pled guilty to one count of tribal embezzlement. Carattini admitted that in July 2011, he received and benefitted from a $3,500 tribal check to him signed by Pangburn, though Carattini had not done any tribal work in exchange for the check. In September 2013, Pangburn pled guilty to a conspiracy with Carattini to embezzle funds from the Apache Tribe.
At sentencing, Carattini and Pangburn each face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. In separate plea agreements, each defendant agreed to pay restitution to the Apache Tribe for the amount of embezzled funds, which will be determined by the Court at sentencing. A sentencing hearing for Carattini will be set by the Court in approximately 90 days. Sentencing for Pangburn is scheduled for April 28, 2014.
These charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris M. Stephens.