Published June 19, 2019

Tribe working with regulators to ensure compliance

MIAMI, Okla. — The Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma said it is taking steps to recover monies wrongfully taken by its former casino management company and pledged to work with the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and other federal authorities to ensure compliance with federal laws, the agency’s rules and regulations.

The NIGC last month issued a Notice of Violation to the Tribe due to wrongful acts committed by officers of its former management company, Direct Enterprise Development, LLC. The NIGC found that David J. Qualls and Tony D. Holden wrongfully enriched themselves and their company in excess of $2 million in management fees in direct disregard of specific NIGC directions to calculate those fees in a different manner. The NIGC also found that Qualls and Holden engaged in other payments and practices which violated the terms of their management agreement.

The Notice of Violation was not issued as the result of tribal misconduct.

“The Peoria Tribe had no control over the calculation and payment of the management fees or the other wrongful payments,” said Chief Craig Harper, “that was all under the sole control of Qualls and Holden.”

Neither Qualls nor Holden is a member of the Peoria Tribe.

“The Peoria Tribe takes these issues seriously and we will cooperate fully with the NIGC and other federal authorities to resolve concerns related to these events,” said Harper. “We hope to avoid or limit penalties we may be assessed for the wrongful conduct of those two men.”

The Peoria Tribal Gaming Commission previously made similar findings to those of the NIGC. Based on those findings, it permanently revoked the gaming licenses of Qualls and Holden and issued a $2,067,561 fine against them, as authorized by federal and tribal law and regulations.

The Peoria Tribe’s appeal of the NIGC’s Notice is pending with the agency. The Peoria Tribe is represented in these matters by D. Michael McBride III and Jimmy K. Goodman of the Tulsa and Oklahoma City offices of Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C.

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