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Cache Creek Casino alleges fraud by top advisers

Capay, California (AP) 10-07

The tribe that owns the Cache Creek Casino Resort in the Capay Valley near Woodland is accusing two top advisers of defrauding the tribe out of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

A lawsuit by the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians alleges “greed and betrayal” by prominent Indian gambling attorney Howard L. Dickstein and financial adviser Arlen Opper, both of Sacramento.

The two men helped guide tribal members from poverty to immense wealth as the casino blossomed in the rural valley.

The lawsuit, filed in Yolo County Superior Court during October, alleges the men improperly benefited from the tribe’s real estate deals and other investments.

It comes after the tribe ousted its former chairwoman last year. The new leadership ended the tribe’s relationship with Dickstein and Opper and hired investigators to probe its past business dealings with the pair.

“There was a feeling we were being taken advantage of,” said Marshall McKay, the tribe’s new chairman.

Dickstein denied wrongdoing and said he plans to file a countersuit. He said all his actions were approved by the tribe’s previous leadership.

It is “very mean-spirited and disappointing” to be sued now after working for the tribe for “little or no compensation” for the first decade, Dickstein said.

The tribe says it paid Dickstein $18 million in legal fees over 13 years..
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