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Ho-Chunk tribal member Whiteagle gets 10 years prison for bribery scheme

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Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judges gavel and stryker By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A member of the Ho-Chunk Indian tribe has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, for taking over $3 million in a bribery scheme.

Federal Judge William Conley also told 61-year-old Timothy Whiteagle of Black River Falls to spend three years under supervision when he gets out – and to pay almost $163,000 to the IRS.

His attorney said the sentence was too harsh, and the government should have let the tribe handle the case.

A jury in Madison convicted Whiteagle almost 3 months ago for bribery and tax violations.

Prosecutors said Whiteagle was a consultant for businesses that provided ATM and check cashing services at Ho-Chunk casinos – and for a business that wanted to provide housing and mortgages to tribal members.

Officials said Whiteagle and others gave former Ho-Chunk legislator Clarence Pettibone cash and numerous gifts, in exchange for his votes on tribal contracts from 2002 through ’09.

In July, Pettibone was sentenced to five years in prison in July for his role in the scheme. 

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