Templeton man facing 225 years in prison

May 10, 2012

A 74-year-old Templeton man is among four people who have been indicted on federal bribery and money laundering charges for allegedly participating in a scheme in which associates of a lawyer hired to provide assistance to the Coachella Valley Indian Tribe paid kickbacks to the attorney.

Attorney Gary Edward Kovall advised the tribe to create a limited liability company to purchase real estate and to hire Templeton resident David Alan Heslop as the company’s manager.

Kovall and Heslop then recommended that the tribe hire general contractor Paul Bardos to act as the tribe’s “owner’s representative” in several construction projects at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella. When additional construction or construction oversight became necessary in relation to casino projects, Bardos submitted proposals to perform the work, and Kovall persuaded the tribe to give Bardos the contracts. After being paid by the tribe, Bardos paid kickbacks to Heslop who, in turn, paid kickbacks to Kovall though his wife Peggy Shambaugh.

The indictment alleges that in 2007, Bardos paid Heslop more than $186,577, most of which was then funneled to Kovall.

The indictment charges all four defendants with conspiracy.

Kovall, Bardos and Shambaugh are also charged with eight counts of bribery, while Heslop is charged with 16 counts of bribery. In addition to the conspiracy and bribery charges based on the kickback scheme, Bardos is charged with eight counts of money laundering, Heslop is charged with seven counts of money laundering, and Shambaugh is charged with two counts money laundering.

If they are convicted of all counts in the indictment: Heslop would face a statutory maximum sentence of 225 years in federal prison and a fine of $5.75 million, Kovall would face a maximum statutory sentence of 75 years in federal prison and a fine of $2 million, Bardos would face a statutory maximum sentence of 155 years in federal prison and a fine of $4 million, and Shambaugh would face a statutory maximum sentence of 105 years in federal prison and a fine of $2.75 million, according to the Department of Justice.

“The charges allege the defendants in this case deprived the victims – the 29 Palms Band of Mission Indians – of honest leadership, and took advantage of their positions of trust by lining their own pockets with the tribe’s money, including government funding designated for necessary services. The FBI will continue to work with our partners at the IRS and the United States Attorney’s Office to protect groups targeted through corrupt practices and investigate those responsible,” said Steven Martinez, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.



  1. indians123 says:

    After all of the lies the natives have heard in the past from treaty this and you can;t speak in our court
    rooms that, It is sad that the Indians have not been given the right to sentence them in their courtrooms. They are a sovereign nation inside of our nation and have been treated like cattle for so long. I am happy they are finally making their way out of the grave American politicians have dug them, Lewis and Clark would have died if not for the Dakota Indians, and Indians did not attack any settlers on the Oregon Trail because their word was their word….
    They have been lied to time and time again as the government has gone back on their word many many many times. And now this, these people taking advantage of the Natives success??, when found guilty,
    they should be deported, the government should give them that kind of support. Set an example for all, to never treat the natives cruelly again.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. Alon_Perlman says:

    IF convicted. The more charges in a conspiracy, the more likely a defendant will roll. Besides, with good behavior, he can get out in 112 years.

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  3. justsayin10 says:

    This is somewhat business as usual for private and public center deal making. However, this situation pales in comparison to the looting and stealing of taxpayer monies by our local, state, and federal government crooks and politicians. How many of Bush and Obamas buddies over at Goldman Sachs of America were prosecuted after bilking investors home and abroad for trillions of dollars? “Zero”. I heard a lot of tough talk from Obama with no action. The government solution is to write an arduous, cumbersome over-regulating bill, “Dodd-Frank Bill”. We put two of the biggest crooks, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, who were key players in the mortgage meltdown in charge of the new financial/mortgage reform bill. Everything is upside down; the apathetic majority of Americans will only further this kind of behavior. Nothing has changed. -Ron Paul 2012

    (-1) 17 Total Votes - 8 up - 9 down
  4. ds_gray says:

    I’m bothered by the sentence guidelines. It seems if you take someone’s life, you’re out in 7-10 years. But if you take someone’s MONEY, then you’re locked away for 200+ years until your bones turn to dust.

    That illustrates our government’s priorities pretty well – don’t care about the people, just their money.

    (28) 32 Total Votes - 30 up - 2 down
    • r0y says:

      That’s easy: the government does not like competition.

      (23) 25 Total Votes - 24 up - 1 down
      • newscruzer1 says:

        Oh yes! The government will spend millions in advertizing opposing any Indian casinos, saying the Indian’s make millions and don’t pay any taxes, and were not going to vote for that!
        As my friend Paul Mooney says,”oh yes, and the Indians in their advertizing campaign would point out that the government stole our land and they don’t pay us any rent on it, and we didn’t vote for that!”

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
    • R.Hodin says:

      If you conspire to murder someone and carry it out, and are found guilty, the sentence is either life in prison without parole or death. The exception would be if you turned state’s evidence on your partner(s), but it would still be a mandatory long prison sentence.

      Please give an example if you know otherwise.

      (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
      • ds_gray says:

        Many members of the Manson ‘family’ conspired to commit murder and have been paroled. Their crimes were some of the most gruesome in this state’s history. Charles Manson, although not granted, was eligible for parole this year.

        And since the Governor is bent on reliving his ’70s gubernatorial career, the death penalty in this state will soon be over. Due to problems with delivery of drugs used for lethal injection, there is no death penalty in CA now. Kaylee Weisenberg was found guilty of killing a CHP officer with her car and will be eligible for parole in 15 years. That one can be found on this forum, and the sentence was issued last month.

        There’s 2 examples. Your argument is flawed.

        (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  5. ososkid says:

    I guess these guys didn’t know to take some of that money and make political contributions. Works for Goldman Sachs every time.

    (25) 31 Total Votes - 28 up - 3 down
  6. willieslo says:

    The rich and powerful
    Probably friends of Gearhart

    (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
  7. bobfromsanluis says:

    Shoot, I thought this article was somehow related to Kelly Gearhart and his involvement with the Indian tribes around here trying to build a new casino. Oh well, hopefully soon we’ll get to see some “perp walk” pictures of Kelly ….

    (28) 30 Total Votes - 29 up - 1 down

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