AtMashpee LLC, another Strather-created Detroit-based casino syndication in which a large majority of Atwater's members are reported to have also been investors, is suddenly at the center of a Jack Abramoff-related scandal making headlines this week.
Glenn Marshall, former chairman of Massachusetts's Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and a Strather (AtMashpee) partner, admits he is guilty of all criminal activity outlined in a Department of Justice (DOJ) complaint filed this week. Marshall has also agreed to cooperate in ongoing DOJ investigations which could include AtMashpee and its investors.
It is not clear yet if Albright is one of the Atwater investors who also put money into AtMashpee LLC.
Albright is the president of National Petition Management (NPM), perhaps the leading U.S. firm paid to collect signatures on political petitions intended to qualify measures (initiatives, referenda, propositions, proposals, etc.) for the ballot. NPM has offices in Michigan and Northern California. At one time NPM's was incorporated in Michigan.
The Daily Kos reports that from 1992-2006, NPM successfully qualifed 75 measures to be on ballots in 15 states. That list included qualifying two Michigan gambling measures: (1) allowed three commercial casinos to be opened in Detroit; and then (2) virtually protects those Detroit casinos from the threat of any future gaming competition in the state. Specifically:
- 1996 - Michigan First! Proposal E - gambling in Detroit (organized by Atwater investors Herb Strather and Mary Ann Dalgleish, and Dimitrios Papas, founder of Monroe Partners LLC - Greektown Casino; Strather and Papas were later disqualified from receiving Michigan gambling licenses and forced to cash-in their respective casino interests before the gambling halls opened; voters statewide narrowly approved Proposal E which provided for three commercial gaming establishments in Detroit).
2004 - Let Voters Decide Yes on Proposal 1 (bankrolled by Detroit's three established commercial casino interests and Michigan Indian tribes with gaming interests which included MGM Grand Detroit, Marian Ilitch owner of MotorCity Casino, Kewadin Greektown Casino, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians; voters approved Proposal 1which now requires a statewide vote to approve any other new/expanded gaming ventures).
Strather (AtMashpee) funnelled $4 million from investors into a hidden account enabling Marshall's criminal activity.