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Soboba chairman charged with bribery

October 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The chairman of the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians was in Federal custody Friday.Roberto Salgado, 67, surrendered to authorities after being notified earlier in the day that he had been indicted on federal charges of accepting more than $250,000 in bribes from tribal vendors and concealing income from the Internal Revenue Service.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Salgado was named in a 36-count indictment last week and surrendered at U.S. district court in Riverside Friday afternoon.

The indictment accused Salgado of conspiring to solicit and accept bribes from four vendors in exchange for acquiring new contracts or retaining existing contracts with the tribe.

Court papers show the vendors paid Salgado bribes in cash, payments to his creditors and checks payable to a company he established.

The indictment also alleges that those four vendors were involved in the tribe's real estate purchases, construction projects at the tribe's casino and reservation and also provided services at the casino.

The charges against Salgado include one count of conspiracy, 29 counts of bribery and six counts of filing false tax returns.

The U.S. attorney's office says the conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, while the bribery counts each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and the tax charges carry three years maximum.

CNS contributed to this report.


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