FROM THE ARCHIVE
Seminole Tribe spent millions freely
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2002

The third day of a trial into alleged theft of funds from the Seminole Tribe of Florida was even more colorful and exciting than the first two, according to news accounts.

Tribal council member David Cypress took the stand and testified that the tribe gave away millions, literally. He spent at least $57 million on friends, family and himself, he said.

"I have no problem with spending money; that's what I've been telling you," Cypress said, as reported by The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I bought Lexuses for anyone who asked for one. Give me a [sad] Hank Williams song, and I'll give you one, too."

The details of the freewheeling are seen as undermining the federal government's case against three former employees who worked for ousted chairman Jim Billie, even though Cypress is a government witness, The Miami Herald reported.

Timmy Cox, Dan Wisher and Michael Crumpton are accused of stealing $2.7 million but their defense is they were authorized to spend and so was everyone else.

Get the Story:
Seminole tribal leaders go on spree (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 12/5)
Seminole spending at issue (The Miami Herald 12/5)

Relevant Links:
Seminole Tribe - http://www.seminoletribe.com

Related Stories:
Seminole lawyer testifies in fraud case (12/4)
Trial: Billie oversaw tribal theft (12/3)
Seminole Tribe alleges breach of trust (11/13)
Ousted Seminole chief to repay tribe (08/21)
Indicted ex-worker challenged tribe (06/26)
Ex-tribal workers indicted for theft (6/25)
Seminole Tribe files $4 million suit (6/13)
Prisoner rats on ex-Seminole chief (6/3)
Seminole Tribe goes Hard Rock (5/14)
Seminole Tribe strikes casino deal (5/3)
Seminole attorney plans return to work (4/26)
Shot Seminole attorney recovering (4/25)
Shot Seminole lawyer said in hiding (2/4)
Seminole lawyer in critical condition (1/14)
Seminole Tribe hires top official (1/9)
Suit against Seminole Tribe dismissed (11/6)
Seminole chief said targeted in probe (10/5)
Billie reported under investigation (9/18)
BIA: Chief Billie suspension was illegal (9/11)
Chief Billie sued by Seminole Tribe (9/6)
In The Hoop: Indian firm get shout out (8/2)
Jim Billie drops lawsuit against tribe (6/20)
Tribe's business deal questioned (6/19)
Jury orders Seminole Tribe to pay $2M (6/8)
Seminole Tribe fires three (6/5)
FBI probes Chief Jim Billie gifts (5/31)
Chief Jim Billie says not finished (5/30)
Chief Jim Billie suspended (5/25)
Seminole Tribe elects council (5/17)
Tribe fires business manager (5/11)

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