Jury convicts tribal member of bribery
A jury convicted Black River Falls man Timothy Whiteagle, 61, a member of the Ho-Chunk Indian tribe, of bribery and tax violations after he took $3 million when working as a consultant. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Federal Judge William Conley also told Whiteagle to spend three years under supervision when he gets out and pay $163,000 to the IRS. His attorney said the sentence was too harsh, and the government should have let the tribe handle the case.
Prosecutors said Whiteagle was a consultant for businesses that provided ATM and check-cashing services at Ho-Chunk casinos, as well as for a business that wanted to provide housing and mortgages to tribal members. Officials said Whiteagle and others gave former Ho-Chunk legislator Clarence Pettibone cash and numerous gifts, in exchange for his votes on tribal contracts from 2002-2009.
Pettibone was sentenced to five years in prison in July for his role in the scheme.