San Diego Contractor Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Tribe

A Southern California contractor has pled guilty for defrauding a Northern California tribe, the Auburn Indian Community out of $17 million. Bart Wayne Volen admitted to federal charges for kickbacks done in the construction of several buildings for the tribe, which operates Thunder Valley Casino.

A San Diego building contractor, Bart Wayne Volen, last week pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and wire fraud on the Northern California Thunder Valley Casino operated by Auburn Indian Community in Lincoln. He also laundered money and filed false tax returns.

According to U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, “Utilizing insiders and an extensive trail of false documents to back up his scheme, Bart Volen managed to steal an incredibly large amount of money from a community that plays a very special role in our district.”

Volen, who was hired in 2006, admitted to making $17 million from the tribe in kickbacks during the course of building a school, a community center and administrative offices for the tribe. He will be sentenced in December.