Saturday, October 01, 2011

Former Ilitch Casino Partner wants Gov. Deval Patrick to help him collect debt from Mashpee Tribe

Investor calls Wampanoag on debt

By George Brennan
Herb Strather, the Detriot developer who first invested in the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe's casino efforts in 1999, is calling on the governor to help him recoup the millions he says he spent on the tribe.

In a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick, Strather says he raised in excess of $25 million from a wide variety of investors to help the tribe gain federal recognition and pursue a casino.

He also claims that the tribe has reneged on a handshake deal to make mortgage payments for Maushop Farm, a horse stable in Mashpee he purchased for $675,000 and planned to donate to the Wampanoag once a casino was built. He produced an email from a Bank of America employee stating the mortgage is in default because of slow payments. That bank employee declined to comment Wednesday.

"We are seeking a fairness inclusion in the gaming bill that will make the tribe pay their debts before they can get a compact," Strather wrote to the governor.

A compact is a deal between a tribe and a state that sets the ground rules for how an Indian casino will operate and what payments the state would receive in lieu of taxes.

Strather's letter asks the governor to...

Much of Strather's negotiations, both for the casino and the farm, were with former tribal council Chairman Glenn Marshall. Marshall is serving a federal prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to taking some of Strather's cash and using it to make illegal campaign contributions and keeping it as a personal slush fund.

Marshall was forced to resign in 2007 after the Times reported he was a convicted rapist and that he had lied about his military record.

Still, Strather is harsher in his criticism of current tribal council Chairman Cedric Cromwell than he is of Marshall...

Most of Strather's comments about Cromwell can't be printed... (Read Full Story)

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