Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians’ former General Counsel, Gary Edward Koval, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in early April 2014 for his role in a casino corruption case in California. A tribal consultant also admitted to the charge. A third defendant, a general contractor admitted to tax evasion in connection with the case. The fourth defendant, Kovall’s wife has not plead guilty.

The Tribe’s former attorney was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison plus an additional 3 years of supervised release for his role in a construction kickback scam. The consultant and Kovall apparently formed companies and the attorney convinced the tribe to award contracts to them. The companies were paid about $2.8 million with some $300,000 going to Kovall, channeled through his wife, who was his girlfriend at the time.

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians own and operate Spotlight 29 Casino (formerly Trump 29) in Coachella and Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms.