Members of San Diego-based Pala Band of Mission Indians are asking U.S. President Barack Obama for help in their struggle against controversial gambling attorney Howard Dickstein.
In an article recently published by a former member of the tribe, an eerie comparison was made between “Blood Diamonds” to “Blood Indian Gaming Money.” According to the article “Gov. Jerry Brown was given $200,000 in “Blood Indian Gaming Money.”
Moreover, the author alleges that Howard Dickstein controls “the Tribal Business Alliance, Robert Smith and Doug Elmets. Elmet’s office is in the same building where Gov. Brown has his penthouse pad. So the disenrolled blood $$ don’t have to drip that far to get them all dirty.”
Dickstein , who is no stranger to controversy, has been previously named a defendant in a suit advanced by his client, members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nations (formerly known as the Ramsey Band of Wintun Indians), which owns and operates the Cache Creek Casino in Brooks, California, an unincorporated community in Yolo County.
In that action, the plaintiffs — who were represented by Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and legal ethics expert Michael Boli — alleged that Dickstein engaged in myriad fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion (i.e. a non-criminal term referring to the act of theft), breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentations, and unjustly enriching himself with tribal money by defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade.
While the suit was pending, further allegations of grave misconduct were leveled against Dickstein and his attorneys of San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest including claims that evidence was “manufactured.” Later, Dickstein and his lawyers of Keker & Van Nest (presumably, John Keker, Elliot Peters, and Jon Streeter) falsely advertised and misled the public into believing that the Yocha Dehe tribe had only sued Dickstein for conduct which was “negligent” in nature. Dickstein and his legal team neglected to reference the allegations of defrauding the tribe of millions of dollars over more than a decade through fraudulent conduct, concealment, conversion, breaches of fiduciary duties, and misrepresentations which the tribe had leveled against their own attorney.
In nearby Placer County, situated between the cities of Roseville and Lincoln, 50 miles east of Yolo County, where the United Auburn Indian Community operates the Thunder Valley Casino, allegations of greed and betrayal were also leveled against Howard Dickstein by the former chairwoman of the United Auburn Indian Community, the Honorable Jessica Tavares and long-time tribal council member Dolly Suehead.
According to media reports, Tribal Administrator Greg Baker — a Dickstein confederate — disallowed a tribe-funded mailing of a campaign mailer that claims the United Auburn Indian Community has been “bamboozled by an attorney [Howard Dickstein] more interested in filling his garage with Ferraris than serving the interest of our tribe, and the greed of a tribal council that rubber stamps his decision and no longer looks after our best interests.”
Baker, who as it turned out was involved in a separate and unrelated financial scheme, was recently suspended following on the heels of an IRS investigation into allegations of fraud and money-laundering. In affidavits filed by an IRS investigator, it was alleged that Baker was part of a scheme to over-bill the casino/tribe by more than $18 million, which would later be “kicked-back.”
Roman Porter — a long time ally and confederate of California Democratic Party operative Joseph Dunn of embattled online publication Voice of OC who now serves as the executive director of the State Bar of California — was recently hired as Thunder Valley Casino’s new tribal administrator.
The article concludes by urging the readers to sign a petition: ” The unjustified killing of the souls of tribal members at Pala is not the actions of a sovereign but the actions of a cruel dictatorship that any ruthless dictator in the world would admire. Speak out and sign the petition to the White House Now!.”