Indian Country Awaits the Sentencing on June 30th of Prominent Republican Power Broker

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| Source: Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians

Coachella, CA, June 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Professor David Alan Heslop, a major Republican power broker for decades in California and nationally, will be sentenced on a bribery conviction on June 30th, 2014 in Los Angeles Federal District Court. Heslop has plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, cheating the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians Tribe out of millions of dollars related to construction and real estate transactions. Gary Edward Kovall, the Tribe's outside attorney and Paul Phillip Bardos, a general contractor from Rancho Cucamonga, have also plead guilty to felony conduct related to the scheme (Bardos for felony tax evasion).

The Tribe stated that as an advisor to Presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush, Heslop used his political prominence to lure them into hiring him as a real estate advisor. In fact, Heslop the self-styled "advisor to kings" orchestrated multiple fraudulent transactions unbeknownst to the Tribe to line his pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars of the Tribe's money. The Tribe calculates its damages from the fraudulent conspiracy at more than $20 million.

Kovall, the outside attorney for the Tribe, negotiated multiple construction contracts with Bardos, who in turn, kicked back hundreds of thousands of dollars to Heslop who then forwarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kovall and his wife. 

Darrell Mike, Tribal Chairman for Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, comments: "This case represents the largest rip off of an Indian Tribe since the Jack Abramoff scandal. Indian Tribal leadership in this country has been abused for 300 years and has not had the educational advantages of sophisticated whites.  We rely upon highly educated professionals to be honest and to guide us through many legal and business activities. The extent and premeditation by these dishonest outside advisors was shocking and extremely disheartening."

Chairman Mike went on to comment: "Tribes throughout the Country and those supporting fair treatment for Native Americans are very hopeful that Judge Kennedy, in sentencing, will send a message that sophisticated outside professionals cannot exploit Native Americans. This case is particularly upsetting given the number of times the coconspirators met with Tribal leadership, looked us straight in the eye, and lied repeatedly."

Heslop was a professor of Political Science at Claremont McKenna College for many years and founder of the conservative think tank, the Rose Institute. Bardos, a former student of Heslop, and Kovall were all participants in the Institute.

About Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians:

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians trace their origins back to the Chemeheuvi, a peaceful and nomadic tribe whose territory once covered Utah, Arizona and Southern Nevada. In the mid - 1800s the Chemeheuvi migrated from Colorado River Valley to the more remote areas of the Mojave Desert. In 1867, a group of Chemeheuvi settled at the Oasis of Twenty-Nine Palms. The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians are their descendants. As children of the Wolf, the Band has always drawn upon his strength and intelligence as well as wit and survival skills of coyote to endure and sustain themselves. Today the Band's reservation lands are located near the town of Twenty-Nine Palms where Tortoise Rock Casino is located, as well as in the City of Coachella, home to the Tribe's sister casino, Spotlight 29 Casino. The proceeds from both Tribal casinos help provide housing, education and financial security for future generations.

Jonas Udcoff

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