Three accused of defrauding Auburn tribe face new charges

Published: Saturday, Apr. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013 - 9:38 am

Charges of filing false tax returns have been added in a federal case against three men accused of stealing more than $18 million from the United Auburn Indian Community, which owns the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln.

The new charges against Bart Wayne Volen, 53, of San Diego and Hawaii, Greg Scott Baker, 46, of Newcastle, and Darrell Patrick Hinz, 48, of Cameron Park, are included in a superseding indictment brought Thursday by a federal grand jury in Sacramento, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

In August, the three men were charged with conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering as part of a scheme to defraud the United Auburn Indian Community.

Thursday's superseding indictment alleges that in 2006 and 2007, Volen and Hinz filed false tax returns in connection with the fraud and Baker filed false tax returns from 2006 through 2009.

According to the indictment, Volen, a general contractor and developer, was hired to finish construction on a school, community center and administrative offices on property owned by the United Auburn Indian Community on Indian Hill Road in Auburn.

Volen allegedly submitted false and inflated invoices, supported with inflated cost proposals from his general contractor's company, SPB, and, at times, inflated invoices from various subcontractors.

Baker and Hinz were United Auburn Indian Community employees.

Baker was the tribal administrator, whose duties included overseeing the Indian Hills office project. Hinz was a contract employee hired to manage quality control and construction at the project site.

The indictment alleges that during the scheme to defraud the tribe, Baker and Hinz engaged in conduct to ensure that the tribal council would pay for the inflated and fraudulent invoices submitted by Volen.

Both allegedly were aware of what Volen was doing and were paid by Volen for their participation in the scheme.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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