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Jackpot Junction to pay civil fine over failure to file accurate, timely reports

MORTON -- The Lower Sioux Community, doing business as Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel, has agreed to pay a civil penalty as assessed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Treasury, according to a news release from the community and the U.S. Treasury.

The assessment charges that the community did not implement internal controls as required by the Bank Security Act in operations at the casino during the period 2006 through 2009.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network assessed a $250,000 civil penalty. The casino has implemented an improved Title 31 program requiring training and policies and that "has helped in greatly reducing the fine which was imposed,'' according to a statement by Brian Pendleton, general manager of Jackpot Junction Casino.

During the time period in question, Jackpot Junction's internal controls were inadequate and resulted in multiple failures to file accurate and timely reports as required, according to Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The assessment also alleges that the casino did not conduct adequate independent testing and training for employees.

By approving the assessment on April 20, the Lower Sioux Community does not admit or deny the allegations.

"It is unfortunate that during the time of the allegations, the Tribe was experiencing political upheaval and certain management decisions were made not in the best interest of the casino; we are now dealing with the civil money penalties imposed on the casino as a result of,'' stated Tribal President Gabe Prescott in a news release.

"The individuals involved during the time frame of April 2006 through May 2009 responsible for the alleged violations resulting in the (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) penalties are no longer employed by the casino,'' stated Pendleton.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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