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Six indicted for stealing from Kickapoo Tribe

Six people, including a state lawmaker, were indicted on Thursday for stealing more than $900,000 from the Kickapoo Tribe of Texas.

Authorities said state Rep. Timoteo Garza (D), former tribal attorney Jose "Joe" Ruiz and Arthur Lee Martin, a former casino manager, embezzled gaming and health care funds from the tribe. "They betrayed [the tribe's] trust and used the money for their own personal gain," the U.S. Attorney was quoted as saying.

The complaint alleges Garza used $81,000 to pay musical groups at his campaign rallies and took $45,000 to pay campaign workers. Ruiz allegedly received more than $300,000 and other funds were used to make political donations and purchase personal items, including furniture and ATVs.

Garza is the son of Isidro Garza, a non-Indian who was arrested this week on charges of stealing from the tribe. Also indicted was Raul Garza, no relation, the tribe's former chairman.

The indictment came after tribal members kicked Garza and his associates out of power in 2002.

Get the Story:
6 cited in casino plot (The San Antonio Express-News 12/10)
Grand jury indicts six in Indian casino case (The Houston Chronicl 12/10)

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