Tribe leaders plead not guilty to theft charges

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Associated Press

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 4:34 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The former chairman of a Connecticut tribe and his brother, the tribe's treasurer, have pleaded not guilty to charges that they stole more than $800,000 from the tribe.

Former Mashantucket Pequot chairman Michael Thomas and his brother Steven appeared Monday afternoon in federal court in New Haven.

The tribe owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino on its reservation in Ledyard, Conn.

Michael Thomas is accused of stealing more than $100,000 in tribal funds and federal grant money during his tenure as leader of the tribal council. Treasurer Steven Thomas allegedly stole more than $700,000 when he was assistant director of the tribe's natural resources department.

Richard Reeve, an attorney for Steven Thomas, said the case is about whether his client was entitled to wages he received for a job.

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