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Indictments Over Alleged Casino Scam on Tribal Grounds

Tribal casinos take a lot of steps to keep players from cheating. But 42 people in Central Washington are facing charges of conspiracy to cheat on a raffle at a casino run by the Yakama Nation.

Legends Casino employee Juan Correa is accused of selecting winners for a weekly raffle. Prosecutors say the winners would then split the money with Correa. The cash prizes ranged anywhere from $250 to $2,500.

Harry Smiskin, chairman of the Yakama Tribal Council, says it was a casino employee who notified authorities of the con. Smiskin said that the tribe will not tolerate cheating, adding that its working with federal agents to investigate the scam.

The indictment lists 47 counts of fraud. Juan Correa is charged with all of them. His co-conspirators are charged with only one or two counts each.

If convicted, Correa could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Correa appeared in a Yakima courtroom Tuesday afternoon. He was granted bail with on condition that he not contact his co-defendants or former co-workers.