John Blackhawk, a former casino chairman and a council member of the WinneVegas casino, has been sentenced for stealing from the casino. He has received five years of probation in addition to 150 hours of community service and $36,000 restitution.
The chief United States District Court Judge, Laurie Smith Camp, gave the sentence after the FBI investigated the unauthorized disbursements from the WinnaVegas Casino and Resort in excess of $36,000, between 2013 and September 2014.
The investigation has found that the disbursements were in the form of gift certificates and not paid for by Blackhawk. The payments were added to a re-loadable debit card in addition to the salary Blackhawk drew from the Winnebago Tribe for serving a tribal council member. The Winnebago Tribe never paid the disbursements through the payroll department and never authorized the same at any of the meetings of the council.
Moreover, Blackhawk never sought approval for the financial transactions from the Winnebago Gaming Commission, a department which oversees the operations of the casino.
The Winnebago Tribe, a federally recognized tribe in northeastern Nebraska, owns and operates the WinnaVegas Casino Resort. Opened in 1992, WinnaVegas has become one of the largest gaming floors in the region. The casino boasts 850+ slot machines, 10 casino table games, poker room with 3 tables and bingo hall.