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.