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November 16, 2022 Casino, Tribal, Legal, Land Based

Former Tribal Chairman sentenced to three years in prison

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Cedric Cromwell, of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, accepted bribes related to an ongoing casino project.

The former Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Cedric Cromwell, has been sentenced to three years in prison, and one year of supervised release, on bribery and extortion charges. US attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachel Rollins handed out the verdict on Tuesday, following a 10-day trial.

Cromwell served as the President of the Tribe’s Gaming Authority, representing its interest in the First Light and Casino – a project in Taunton, Massachusetts. During his time in this role, it was found that he accepted bribes on three occasions from David DeQuattro, the owner of an architecture firm.

These bribes ensured Cromwell would protect the interests of DeQuattro’s firm during the construction of First Light and Casino, which it was under contract to build.

Rollins stated in her verdict: “Mr. Cromwell was elected to represent the 12,000-year-old Wampanoag Tribe. He received the privilege of leading the Mashpee Wampanoag people, who put their faith and trust in him with each ballot they cast.

“Rather than striving to make his community better through honorable deeds of service, he dishonored his people and his position by accepting bribes for his personal gain.”

There were three alleged bribes, two of which Cromwell has been convicted of accepting. The first was a direct payment of $10,000 from DeQuattro to Cromwell in November 2015. The second time, he bought the former Chairman a personal home gym in August 2016. The third bribe was payment for a weekend stay at a luxurious Boston Hotel in May 2017.

DeQuattro has also been sentenced to one year of probation and will be placed in home confinement and electronically monitored. He was charged with one count of bribing an agent of the Indian Tribal government.

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