There is another arrest in the fraud and theft scheme involving employees of Cypress Bayou Casino. Chitimacha Tribal Chairman O'Neal Darden, Jr. was arrested. Louisiana State Police began investigating after being tipped off to bonuses that were being improperly paid at the casino. In February, two employees (including the General Manager) were arrested. Today, a 3rd arrest was announced.
Here is the release from Master Trooper Brooks David.
St. Mary Parish - In January 2016, the Louisiana State Police Indian Gaming Unit (Cypress Bayou Field Office) received a criminal complaint regarding the Cypress Bayou Casino’s General Manager Anthony Patrone and Chief Financial Officer Montie Spivey. The complaint also involved Chitimacha Tribal Chairman O’Neal Darden, Jr.
The complaint alleged the manipulation of the casino’s employee and payroll databases that resulted in Darden receiving a several thousand dollar annual bonus that he was not entitled to. The scheme was facilitated by Patrone and Spivey. They instructed the casino’s Human Resource Department to reactivate Darden, who was no longer an employee of the casino, in the employee database to give the appearance that he qualified for an annual bonus. Once Darden was shown as an active employee in the database, Patrone and Spivey directed the Accounting Department to electronically transfer the bonus money into Darden’s personal checking account.
A follow-up investigation by State Police Investigators resulted in the arrests of both Patrone and Spivey on the charges of Felony Theft, Computer Fraud, and Obstruction of Justice. Patrone and Spivey were both booked into the St. Mary Parish Detention Facility in February 2016. Additionally, an arrest warrant was secured for Darden on the charge of Felony Theft. Darden's arrest was postponed due to the Tribal-State Compact procedural requirements pertaining to arresting enrolled Tribal members.
In subsequent discussions with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Chitimacha Tribe, it was decided that the state would effectuate the arrest and prosecution of Darden. In a collaborative agreement between State Police and the Chitimacha Tribe, Darden self-surrendered himself to State Police Investigators on June 20, 2016, and was booked on Felony Theft charges at the St. Mary Parish Detention Facility.