MADISON, WIS. -- Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Leva Oustigoff Jr., 60, Cumberland, Wisconsin was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 18 months in federal prison for making false statements on his taxes. Oustigoff pleaded guilty to this charge on March 29, 2022.
Between 2015 and 2018, Oustigoff filed false tax returns by failing to report over $130,000 in income derived from money he embezzled from the St. Croix Turtle Lake Casino, operated by the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. Oustigoff, a tribal member, was general manager of the St. Croix casinos during this time. He used the money for various personal expenses, including remodeling and construction on his personal residence. The unreported income amounted to a tax loss of just over $40,000.
In sentencing Oustigoff to prison, Judge Conley wanted to send a message to the Tribe that the Court took seriously that its leaders cavalierly took money from the Tribe to line their own pockets instead of helping the larger community. The Court observed that Oustigoff was a trusted steward who took advantage of his position.
Finally, Judge Conley cautioned that while this may have been the “way of doing business,” it is unhealthy and cynical, and must stop.
During his sentencing, Oustigoff told the Court that he convinced himself that using the money for home improvements was legitimate, but that he knew deep down it was not.
The charge against Oustigoff was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, and IRS Criminal Investigation, with the cooperation of the St. Croix Tribe.
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Last Update: Jul 11, 2022 11:27 am CDT