A former CEO of one of Wisconsin’s biggest casinos has been handed an 18-month prison sentence over an alleged $72,000 embezzlement from St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake.

Leva Oustigoff Jr. was sentenced last week by US District Judge William Conley for tax fraud after “making false statements on his taxes”.

The US Department of Justice reported: “Between 2015 and 2018, Oustigoff filed false tax returns by failing to report over $130,000 in income derived from money he embezzled from the St. Croix Turtle Lake Casino, operated by the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.

“Oustigoff, a tribal member, was general manager of the St. Croix casinos during this time.

“He used the money for various personal expenses, including remodeling and construction on his personal residence.

“The unreported income amounted to a tax loss of just over $40,000.”

U.S. Attorney Timothy O’Shea argued Oustigoff lined his pockets at the expense of St. Croix Chippewa Indians.

He has been ordered to pay back $40,000 back in restitution, reports local TV network WQOW.

Oustigoff had pleaded guilty to fraud back in March. The 60-year-old was indicted in 2020 on eight different counts of embezzlement, and faced up to 160 years in prison.

Admission Of Wrongdoing

The Wisconsin casino is operated by the St. Croix Chippewa tribe. It is located 77 miles northeast of Minneapolis and is operated by the St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin tribe.

The St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin had previously been fined in 2020 for “alleged misuse of casino funds” in a separate series of incidents.

This time, Oustigoff conceded in court that he knew deep down what he was doing was wrong, but that he had convinced himself using the money for home improvements was legitimate.

In sentencing, it is reported Judge Conley “wanted to send a message to the Tribe that the Court took seriously that its leaders cavalierly took money from the Tribe to line their own pockets instead of helping the larger community”.

Joe Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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