ST. MARY PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The chairman of the Chitimacha Tribe was arrested on a theft charge by Louisiana State Police after an investigation into a St. Mary Parish casino and hotel.
On Wednesday, troopers with the Louisiana State Police's Indian Gaming Unit arrested Chitimacha Tribal Chairman O'Neal Darden, Jr. for felony theft.
In January 2016, the Chitimacha Tribe submitted a complaint to the LSP Indian Gaming Unit about a crime possibly committed by senior management at Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, LA.
Investigators with the State Police determined that Anthony Patrone, the general manager of Cypress Bayou Casino, and Monte Spivey, the casino's chief financial officer, allegedly manipulated the casino personnel's database to reactivate a former employee and qualify them for a $5,700 annual bonus, which they were not entitled to receive. According to troopers, Spivey allegedly removed the former employee name from the database and hid the bonus payment under Patrone's orders.
In February, Patrone and Spivey were both arrested and booked at the St. Mary Parish Jail on charges of felony theft, computer fraud, and obstruction of justice following an investigation.
Police said the complaint submitted to LSP also included Darden's name.
According to LSP, the former employee who was involved in the scheme was Darden. Police said the annual bonus was transferred into Darden's personal checking account.
State Police got an arrest warrant for Darden, but had to hold of on arresting Darden because of the procedure between the state and the tribe when arresting enrolled tribal members.
After talks between the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Chitimacha Tribe, the state was able to move forwards with Darden's arrest and will take care of his prosecution.
On Monday, Darden surrendered himself to State Police and was booked into the St. Mary Parish Detention Center on felony theft charges.