A federal grand jury has indicted former Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger for bribery as part of a scheme that included the purchase of land for a tribal casino, according to court records released Wednesday.
The indictment alleges Tiger, 69, of Bristow solicited and received bribes between September 2017 and February 2019 while he was an agent of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, headquartered in Wetumka.
The Tiger indictment was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee.
The indictment alleges the illegal acts occurred while Tiger was working as the chairman of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Economic Development Authority Board.
The indictment alleges Tiger “did corruptly solicit, demand, accept and agree to accept a thing of value … intending to be influenced and rewarded in connection with a transaction or series of transactions of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town involving $5,000 or more.”
The charge of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds carries a prison term upon conviction of not more than 10 years.
The Tiger indictment is tied to a separate, superseding indictment also issued Wednesday that involves two others with ties to the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town.
In the superseding indictment, a grand jury named Aaron Dewayne Terry and Christina Rochelle Anglin in connection with multiple charges that include bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy and theft of tribal funds.
Terry held various management and control positions in companies owned by the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, while Anglin was controller/chief financial officer for the tribe, according to court records.
The superseding indictment alleges Terry and others provided money and other things of value to the “Chairman of the Economic Development Authority Board of AQTT (hereinafter referred to as ‘G.T.’) to influence and reward G.T. for the awarding of contracts and the purchase of land to be put in trust for potential casino operations.”
The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town is a federally recognized tribe whose 350 members also enjoy dual citizenship as Muscogee (Creek) tribal members, according to the tribe’s website.
The superseding indictment also alleges Terry was involved in the payment of about $100,000 and other goods to “G.T.” between 2017 and January 2019.
The payments ranged from a $2,000 cash payment made by Terry in spring 2018 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City to $31,800 in payments for “consulting services” from an Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town-owned company that Terry controlled.
The indictment also alleges Terry gave the person, identified only as “G.T.,” with a University of Oklahoma football that was personalized with G.T.’s name on the football.
Tiger was summoned to appear Aug. 28 before a magistrate in Muskogee federal court for his initial appearance, said Doug Horn, senior litigation counsel for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District.
Asked if more indictments were planned, Horn replied: “I can’t comment on the existence or non-existence of any investigation that may or may not be going on by the federal government.”
Both Tiger and Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Chief Nelson Harjo could not be reached for comment.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation issued a statement following the indictment of Tiger which reads, in part:
“The activities detailed in the indictment are in no way associated with the governance or operations of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, nor was Mr. Tiger representing the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in any capacity. Any facts in support of charges against Mr. Tiger are alleged to have occurred after he served as Principal Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
“The Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town (AQTT) is a separate, federally recognized tribe and is one of three tribal towns located within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation territory.”
Tiger was first elected Muscogee (Creek) Nation chief in 2011 before losing a re-election bid in 2015.
While chief, Tiger was under fire after his involvement in a secret deal to build a controversial casino in Broken Arrow became public.
The Tulsa World reported in March 2015 that Tiger signed a secret contract in 2009 with a developer to build a casino for the Kialegee Tribal Town in Broken Arrow.
The agreement was signed while Tiger was a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation tribal council. The Broken Arrow casino never materialized.
Tiger turned away a request in March 2015 by the tribal council that he resign as principal chief.
Tiger later that same year lost a re-election bid to James Floyd.
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