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OMAHA | A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed the indictment charging a former Winnebago Tribal Council member with theft from the tribe's casino.

Chief U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp granted the prosecution's motion to dismiss all charges against Morgan Earth. The government filed the dismissal motion in September in U.S. District Court in Omaha.

According to that motion, the grounds for the dismissal were set forth in a previous magistrate judge's order, which has been sealed.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Semisch said he was prohibited from discussing the contents of the sealed order and the reasons the dismissal was filed.

Earth was one of nine former council members indicted in July 2016 on charges of conspiracy, theft from a gaming establishment on Indian lands and wire fraud.

An FBI investigation determined that while on the tribal council, the nine had given themselves raises and bonuses totaling $327,500 directly from the tribe's WinnaVegas Casino Resort without approving them at council meetings. The distributions were recorded on the casino's books as miscellaneous administrative expenses. The case stemmed from a 2015 tribal investigation that led to the nine either resigning or being ousted from office by newly elected council members.

Charles Aldrich, Lawrence Payer, Louis Houghton, Darwin Snyder, Thomas Snowball and former tribal chairman John Blackhawk each have pleaded guilty to theft from a gaming establishment. Aldrich, Payer and Houghton each were placed on probation and ordered to pay $36,000 apiece in restitution. Snowball, Blackhawk and Snyder await sentencing.

Mallory has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and a judge last month granted a defense request to have Wolfe undergo a mental health examination to determine whether she is competent to understand the charges filed against her and assist in her defense.


Court reporter

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