RSS: Casino News Feeds

Seminole Indian Leaders Spending Questioned in Florida

Florida's Seminole Indian Tribal members receive huge benefits from gambling operations in the state, some of those benefits may be illegal.

Soon after signing a 25-year compact with the state of Florida to allow for exclusive, expanded gambling at the Seminole Tribes seven casino facilities, Tribal Chairman Mitchell Cypress and others are being investigated by federal regulators of Indian Affairs.

There are 3,320 members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, each of them receive approximately $120,000 annually as their share of casino profits. In addition, any member that would like to have a house built, can receive funds of up to $200,000 for that purpose from tribal monies, each individual is responsible for any more than that.

The Cypress brothers, Mitchell and David, are accustomed to living in plush, expansive homes that are meticulously landscaped and include amenities such as a basketball court and hot tubs.

Some records show that more than $300,000 was spent on landscaping for the Cypress brothers homes, and more than $400,000 went to an interior decorator and to purchase furnishings for Doreen Cypress. 

Tribes are allowed to spend gambling profits in five broad categories, including government services for the general welfare of the tribe. Programs to assist members is allowed for housing and recreation.

Council member Max Osceola Jr. said the leaders and their families have received the same assistance available to all Seminoles. Osceola said "I'm responsible for every Seminole member, it's not who my blood family is, it's not who my clan is. It's the 3,320 Seminoles I'm responsible for."

Records show that the Tribal council has spent $280 million from discretionary funds they control on travel, lavish homes, luxury vehicles, boxing rings, basketball courts and cosmetic surgery.

Phil Hogen, chairman of the National Indian Gaming commission said that the spending practices "cry out for some inquiry, and they will receive that."
 

Published on November 27, 2007 by MattMiller

Help Spread the News

Email This Article to a Friend Digg this Article Bookmark this Article with Delicious Send this Article to Reddit Share this Article on Facebook Send this Article to Newsvine

Recent Comments

Posted by: linda s oliverasWhen: 11/10/2009 11:39:28 PM EST
IF I PROVE I HAVE CHEROKEE BLOOD FROM MY FATHERS GRANDMOTHER, DOES THAT ENTITLE ME TO SOME FUNDS FROM THE CASINO?? WHAT WOULD I NEED TO PROVE I HAVE CHEROKEE BLOOD IN ME??
Posted by: Robert MooreWhen: 03/30/2011 06:28:31 PM EST
I Am Of Seminole Decent.
I'd Like To Know If I Am Entitled To Any Benefits? What Percentage Of Seminole Indian Do I Need To Be? Thank You For A Response.