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Jerome García February 6, 2023 3 min read
Court Orders Ex-tribal Leader to Pay Restitution over Bribery
A former leader of a Native American tribe in Massachusetts, who was previously sentenced for corruption, was ordered to pay the Tribe restitution by court
On Thursday, the US Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, ordered Cedric Cromwell, who used to hold the position of a chair of the Mashpee Wampanoags, a Native American tribe, was ordered to pay restitution of $209,687.54 to the Tribe. The latest announcement reveals that while Cromwell was a part of the leadership of the Tribe, he exploited the trust placed in him.
The criminal case itself dates back a few years, when Cromwell accepted bribes in the form of a luxury hotel stay, abused funds belonging to the Tribe and also accepted exercise equipment as a bribe. The fraudulent activity involved the owner of an architectural firm, David DeQuattro. Upon investigating, authorities claimed that Cromwell received $10,000 from DeQuattro back in 2015, while in 2016 and 2017 accepted gym equipment, as well as a three-night stay at a luxury hotel. Those unlawful activities halted a billion-dollar project for the Mashpee Wampanoags.
The duo that engaged in the illicit activity were found guilty in the spring of 2022. After that, Cromwell was sentenced to three years in prison in November. On the other hand, the other participant in the illegal activity, DeQuattro, was sentenced to one year of probation.
“Now, thanks to the Mashpee Wampanoag’s current leadership and tenacious legal counsel’s zealous advocacy, our office sought and secured restitution of $209,687.54 from Mr Cromwell payable directly to the Tribe,“reads a statement from US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins
Now, US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins ordered Cromwell to pay restitution of nearly $210,000 in light of the significant harm that was inflicted on the reputation of the Tribe. Moreover, the court acknowledged that due to the illicit activity, the Mashpee Wampanoags suffered from legal fees.
“This restitution judgment rightly addresses the immense harm these men inflicted upon the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation – harm to its reputation through Mr Cromwell’s corruption; to its economic development through massive project delays and lost resources; and harm to its financial resources through the significant legal fees and expenses generated in their steadfast support and compliance with our investigation,“explains Attorney Rollins
At the same time, the Tribe’s economic development lagged considering the corruption case, which delayed its growth, reveals the court order. Attorney Rollins hoped that this restitution will be the final chapter of the corruption case involving Cromwell and the Tribe which has a rich heritage and history. Finally, she said she hopes to see the Tribe continue to grow, considering that the corrupt leader is no longer a part of the organization.