ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana has issued a statement regarding a plea deal reached by General Manager Anthony Patrone on theft and fraud charges.
According to the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Patrone pled guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge.
In February, 2016 Patrone and Chief Financial Officer were arrested on several criminal charges, according to the Louisiana State Police.
Master Trooper Brooks David said the arrests were, “the result of an internal investigation conducted by the Chitimacha Tribe as well as an investigation conducted by State Troopers.”
The investigation began when LSP’s Gaming Unit received a complaint from the Chitimacha Tribe in January 2016 that a crime may have been committed by senior management at Cypress Bayou Casino.
Investigators determined that Patrone allegedly manipulated the business’s personnel database to show that a former employee was active and qualified for an annual bonus of $5,700.
The money was then directly deposited into the former employee’s bank account.
State Police also learned Patrone allegedly ordered the former employee’s name be removed from the database and conceal the electronic transfer of funds, which was carried out by the casino’s chief financial officer, Monte Spivey, according to David.
Investigators say Spivey was also responsible for reactivating the former employee in the database to allow the bonus payment to be processed.
According to the 15th Judicial District’s Office, former Cypress Bayou Casino general manager Anthony Patrone has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
“The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana understands that a plea was entered today by Anthony Patrone related to charges during his service as the General Manager of the Tribe’s Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel.
The plea is to a misdemeanor offense.
The underlying conduct relates to a bonus payment made to O’Neil Darden, Jr., the Tribe’s present Chairman.
Mr. Patrone has been on suspension from his position since February 17, 2016 and, given this plea, he will now not be returning to employment with the casino.
Chairman Darden remains in his position while the investigation into his conduct continues, but his responsibilities have been reduced.
The Tribe regrets this unfortunate situation. It has cooperated fully with law enforcement in the investigation and the prosecution of this matter.
The Tribe is confident that this isolated incident has had no impact on the integrity of gaming at the casino.”